by Ron Delnevo, ATM Industry Association, Executive Director, Europe
We live in a troubled world. Natural and manmade disasters create more than 250 crisis areas each year — places where people often require humanitarian aid if they are to survive and rebuild their community and economy.
Cash use in crisis situations
Time and again cash has proven essential to providing assistance in crisis situations. When things are at their worst, the first thing people need in order to pull themselves back up is a way to pay for essential purchases.
When a disaster leaves a community without electricity or a functioning infrastructure, merchants typically are not in a position to accept credit or debit cards.
In such cases, cash offers residents a way to purchase items to meet their urgent needs. It also gives local businesses a way to recover from the impact of the disaster.
Currently there is no systematic approach to the provision of cash in crisis areas.
To remedy this situation, humanitarian aid organizations have approached the ATM Industry Association and key charities to develop plans for the speedy, convenient and secure distribution of cash when disaster strikes.
The Cash Access in Crisis initiative
To this end, the ATMIA has implemented the Cash Access in Crisis initiative. Through this initiative, and with the assistance of a humanitarian aid advisor, ATMIA is working to establish national committees in areas often affected by disasters.
These committees will engage with aid agencies, government departments and humanitarian nongovernmental organizations to develop and implement plans for cash distribution when a crisis arises.
This program is an opportunity to help those in dire need get back on their feet, while also significantly increasing awareness of the importance and utility of cash worldwide.
Funding for the Cash Access in Crises Initiative is urgently required. To meet this need, the ATMIA has established a Cash Access in Crisis fund.
The ATMIA urges you to contribute now by clicking this donations link and selecting the Cash Access in Crisis Fund from the dropdown box. All contributions, however large or small, will be gratefully accepted.
Contributions to the fund will be used solely for the development of plans for cash distributions in crisis-stricken areas. Contributors will receive public recognition in ATMIA newsletters and press releases and in announcements at annual conferences in Europe.
For more information on this vital initiative, download the ATMIA white paper “Cash Access in Crises,” or contact ATMIA Executive Director Ron Delnevo to discuss how you can give your practical support.