This study looks at how cash interventions affect the immediate and underlying causes of malnutrition. It is based on a review of 54 evaluations and documents from humanitarian programmes since 2004. It states that theoretically there are a variety of ways that cash transfers could help protect and improve nutritional status, address immediate and underlying causes of malnutrition, including people having the ability to buy more and better-quality food, have more time to care for children in the household, take children to health clinics and use cash in other ways to improve nutrition. There are very positive indications that transfers improve dietary intake, but too little evidence to determine how cash improves care practices and health environment. Even if the evidence of cash interventions on nutritional outcomes is lacking, there is an overwhelming body of evidence that cash transfers, where appropriate, are very effective in meeting food and other needs.
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