Aid actor use of financial modalities in Myanmar - Full review
Following the February 2021 coup in Myanmar, the Myanmar government instituted draconian measures to limit both humanitarian agencies and individuals from accessing bank-held funds. This, coupled with the increasing security and political reasons for not engaging or being able to access formal financial institutions (including banks, mobile money providers, and payroll services), has meant reduced reliance on formal financial systems.
New modalities – including formal financial service providers and informal cash transfer modalities – are used to meet operational cash needs in a variety of ways, including: moving cash between offices; providing/sourcing physical cash to agencies they can use for payments; agents to source cash liquidity for bank-held funds; or payments to third-parties, including vendors, partners, and beneficiaries.
This review provides an overview of the different options for sourcing and transferring operational cash – including how they work, challenges, and risks. It draws from the experience of the UN, INGOs and local actors, in Myanmar and other comparable contexts, to develop an operational guide and establish clear minimum standards which can be used across the humanitarian sector, and which can be adapted by both operational partners and donors.
This is an independent review commissioned by the HARP Facility and carried out by the Center for Operational Analysis and Research.