Faduma is married with 8 children and lives in Burhakaba District, one of the areas in Somalia facing a severe drought due to consecutive poor and failed rains. Loss of livelihoods, erosion of household assets and increases in food prices has led to an extreme difficulty for families to survive. The worst-affected are rural populations, many of whom, facing destitution, have moved to urban areas in search of assistance. While markets are still functional, vulnerable people lack the resources to access food and other basic necessities.
Faduma’s husband is a farmer relying on the seasonal rains for crop production. Having lived in Burhakaba for 25 years, they have experienced successive failed rains leading to crop failure. Faduma managed to secure employment to feed her family but the income has not been enough to meet all their needs. She resulted to purchasing food and other basic items on credit increasing her debts.
In September 2016, Faduma was a beneficiary of the USAID-Food For Peace cash transfer programme implemented by ACTED in partnership with Peace Action Society Organization for Somalia (PASOS). She is among 5,484 households (approximately 32,904 individuals) who have received cash assistance in Buurhakaba and Baidoa districts of Bay region.
Faduma has benefitted from monthly cash assistance for 10 months since the programme started. She narrates to ACTED how she used the cash to cater for her family’s basic food and water needs and clear debts accrued before the programme. She is also grateful that the assistance has enabled her to take her children back to school where they are continuing with their education just like other children. Faduma was able to make some savings which she used to buy a few goats that would help in sustaining her family. She hopes to use any additional savings to invest in a small business and restock more goats. This will provide her with extra income, creating financial security for her family and lessening the risk of falling back into a situation of severe food insecurity due to failed rains in her area.
My family never had regular meals and sometimes my children went to sleep without food. They dropped out of school due to lack of school fees. Life was full of despair and hopelessness.
With the remaining rounds of cash transfers, she hopes she will be able to provide her family with the most basic needs to shield them from the ongoing drought. The benefits of cash transfers to communities that are experiencing such shocks as drought is very evident. Communities are able to restore their livelihoods and dignity. Cash has proven to be an effective way to provide emergency relief to communities.