Cash-Based Transfers

Where markets and financial sector are functioning, cash transfers can be an effective path to achieve food security and nutrition outcomes. WFP uses cash transfers to empower people with choice to address their essential needs in local markets, while also helping to boost these markets.

As the largest provider of cash assistance in the humanitarian community, WFP works to strengthen local markets and develop retail sectors to help reduce the price of the food basket while maintaining or even increasing the profitability of retailers.

1+ million people
made faster, cheaper and more secure
Cash-Based Transfers


© WFP/Sayed Asif Mahmud

CBT Cash Back

The WFP Bangladesh country office developed CBT Cash Back as incentive to strengthen nutrition sensitivity of social safety nets.

The project supported 54,000 people in need from at-risk low-income urban informal settlements in Dhaka, to four large informal settlements in Dhaka. The cash incentive system (cask-back) - incentivized families to use cash transfers to purchase healthy food. The innovative Building Blocks technology was used in the SPRINT-supported programme in Sattala and Kalyanpur informal settlement areas to track purchasing patterns of the people we serve, and ascertain key nutritional intake through this procurement data.

Learn more about CBT Cash Back’s work in 2021

© WFP/Sayed Asif Mahmud

Building Blocks

WFP’s project active in Bangladesh and Jordan, is the humanitarian sector’s largest blockchain-based cash distribution system, leveraging blockchain to coordinate with other humanitarian agencies and transfer cash-based assistance to refugees securely and efficiently. Building Blocks served 1,000,000 Syrian and Rohingya refugees in Jordan and Bangladesh. As of end 2021, Building Blocks had processed USD 309 million of cash-based transfers through 14 million transactions and saved USD 2.4 million in bank fees. Building Blocks has since been adopted into WFP corporate structures.