• cash assistance;
  • earthquakes;
  • Pakistan;
  • South Asia;
  • targeting vulnerability;
  • World Bank

The 7.6 magnitude (Richter scale) earthquake that struck northern Pakistan on 8 October 2005 was devastating. This paper gauges success in targeting vulnerable families during the transition from relief to reconstruction through cash assistance provided by the Livelihood Support Cash Grants (LSCG) programme. Families without a male member, with a disabled male member aged between 18 and 60 years or with more than five children, defined as vulnerable, were provided with USD 50 per month for six months via a bank transfer. The LSCG scheme enrolled around 750,000 families and selected 267,402 vulnerable families to whom it disbursed a total of USD 86.95 million. Using a community-based survey, this paper assesses leakage and under-coverage (exclusion). Approximately 30 per cent of families received the cash grant. However, only one in two was eligible for the benefit, and one in two deserving families was excluded. This is a matter of grave concern.