Ethiopia Article

Emergency relief for families through cash transfers

Ongoing conflict, desert locust invasion, recurrent climatic shocks such as floods and droughts, and the socio-economic impact of COVID-19 are the key drivers of humanitarian needs in Ethiopia. In 2021 the number of people in need has increased to 23.5 million from 19.5 million at the end of 2020 with approximately 7 million people facing acute insecurity.

The population in Ethiopia, especially in Liben and Dawa zones in Somali region, is facing a lack of resources, difficulty in cultivating its land and struggling to feed itself. This situation is leading to increased pressure on households. Loss of means to be able to provide for their needs has resulted in a disrupted purchasing power for households combined with poor functioning markets.

ACTED’s intervention in various sectors like cash assistance as well as water, sanitation and hygiene has increased access to basic needs and affordable water for both livestock and human being affected by droughts, conflicts and climatic shocks. The provision of cash for work also assisted the rehabilitation of large wells called berkads, used for water supply.

Helping vulnerable people with cash assistance

ACTED’s provision of cash assistance improved the financial capacity of vulnerable households to purchase necessary goods according to their individual needs.

I was thankfully able to participate as a cash for work beneficiary where I received 3,927 ETB (88 USD) for a month. With this amount I have since been able to provide food for my family and revive a small food kiosk which is now providing me with a sustainable source of income” explained Farhiya Muhamed.

The cash for work activities also assisted with the improvement of water supply through the rehabilitation of berkads which will be a sustainable water catchment asset for the communities. The rehabilitation of the water tanks with the help of the community created economic recovery system through cash for work employment while at the same time improved access to safe and affordable water.

Cash assistance helps provide access to water for vulnerable communities

75% of households practice pastoralism, 16% are dependent on farming, and a smaller portion of the population combines livestock keeping with dry land farming or limited irrigated agriculture.

We used to fetch water 25 km away with a queue of over 30 minutes that could get very exhausting and prove dangerous especially as I am a woman.

Farhiya Muhamed, a woman living in the region with her family.

To improve access to safe and affordable water for both displaced and host communities for drought and conflict affected communities, ACTED, in partnership with USAID, RACIDA and local autorities designed emergency response and early recovery program through sustainable rehabilitation of water collection infrastructures. This activity also provided temporary employment through cash for work.

“ACTED’s intervention improved our life in general, we now have access to water throughout the woreda (village). Currently we have chlorinated water in our berkads.”  

Communities suffered from prolonged droughts and conflict which diminished their source of livelihood and income. With the provision of this humanitarian assistance, communities are now able to reduce their reliance on negative coping mechanisms and increase the households’ purchasing power.


In partnership with RACIDA and the funding from the USAID/Bureau of Humanitarian Assistance, ACTED has provided 32,400 people with water, sanitation and hygiene coupled with cash assistance.
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