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news | January 12, 2018 | Somalia | Emergency

Livelihoods in displacement: Supporting families' self-reliance

In Somalia, 6.2 million people still remain severely food insecure while the humanitarian context in the country continues to deteriorate. Drought conditions spanning over four consecutive poor rainy seasons have severely intensified the humanitarian crisis.

In Kismayo, more families continue to be displaced, lack food, clean water and other basic needs. The minimal rains and less food production in the region has forced families to seek alternative ways of coping with the devastation. ACTED, through its partner SADO is working in Kismayo to provide drought-affected families living in Dalxiiska camp with food, water and other basic needs. After many months of suffering, Daud, married with 7 children, was identified as one of the most vulnerable in his community and received financial support from ACTED’s USAID-OFDA funded project. The project aims at increasing access to basic needs and services improve water, hygiene and sanitation for populations affected by the drought. For four months, Daud was enrolled in a cash-for-work programme which provides beneficiaries with short-term employment to help them achieve economic independence. Through the programme, Daud worked in the community filling potholes along the feeder roads in Dalxiiska camp, an activity that gives beneficiaries an opportunity to restore key community infrastructure.

Sustainable businesses offering livelihood support to displaced families in the camps

Daud used the cash earned to repay all his debts and most importantly start a business in the Dalxiiska camp. When he received his first cash transfer, he built a small shop which he stocked with commodities such as rice, sugar, pasta and salt, among others. In the second month, his client-base increased significantly forcing him to restock and diversify his commodities to cater for the demand in the camp. “Before this project, I earned very little cash from day to day labour work which was not enough to feed and sustain my family of eight. Now I can comfortably provide for my family; thus meeting the basic needs such as food, medical, and education,” Daud added. Business was looking up for him and that meant a sustainable livelihood for his family. “Currently, I serve over ten clients in a day who buy different things from foodstuff to other essential goods,” Daud said happily. The project has improved his income by boosting his ability as a breadwinner. The family had been struggling to put food on the table but now they are food sufficient and have all their family needs met, an act that has restored their self-worth as a family.

The project provides a short-term income boost for crisis-affected households through the provision of conditional and unconditional cash transfers improving their capacity to meet basic needs as well as facilitating economic recovery at household level. With the rising number of displaced populations in Somalia, ACTED has commenced camp coordination and camp management activities in Baidoa and Kismayo regions. Through the mobile response approach (MRTs), ACTED will enhance coordination, information management, site monitoring community participation, and protection for vulnerable individuals living in camp-like settings. This will improve the dignity and quality of life of IDP settlement residents during displacement while seeking and advocating for durable solutions.