For more than thirty years, Somalia has endured a harrowing cycle of violence, political turmoil, worsening economic strain, and armed conflicts, leaving a trail of profound and devastating repercussions. This relentless turmoil has resulted in ongoing displacement, the erosion of livelihoods, and a sharp decline in agricultural productivity.
Recent analysis indicates that approximately 6.6 million people across Somalia are experiencing high levels of acute food insecurity (IPC Phase 3 – Crisis) and malnutrition in the third quarter of 2023. Almost 3 million people are internally displaced due to conflict and climatic shocks, including drought and flash/riverine floods
The Gedo Region and its neighbouring areas close to the Ethiopian borders were drastically affected by the heavy rainfalls in March 2023, resulting in a sharp rise in Juba River water levels. Baardhere district faced the most severe influx of internally displaced people (IDPs) due to the relentless flash floods and torrential rains that engulfed the region. This catastrophic flooding uprooted thousands, causing extensive damage to their homes.
Acted conducted a Rapid Needs Assessment (RNA) in March and April 2023 in 10 IDP sites (Al-baraka, Bula Cesan, Bula Garas, Camp Geedi, Camp Najax, Camp Warsan, Hayaan, Horseed, Kulun and Tugeerey) within the Baardhere district that had been severely impacted by drought and floods to identify patterns of population and displacement. Assessment on the availability and accessibility of essential services, including food, water, shelter, health, and nutrition, was also carried out.
Acted, in partnership with the European Union (ECHO) through the Somali Cash Consortium (SCC), undertook a crucial initiative to address pressing humanitarian concerns and famine risk mitigation in Somalia. This endeavour was specifically tailored to target the most vulnerable regions.
Acted proceeded to the distribution of Multi-purpose Cash Assistance (MPCA) within a designated district. The primary objective was to identify and extend support to marginalized populations, encompassing newly displaced individuals, malnourished beneficiaries, persons with disabilities, and female-headed households, among others.
In total, Acted provided vital assistance to 1,000 households residing in Internally Displaced Persons (IDP) sites, ensuring they had the means to satisfy their essential needs.
Saida* is a 52-year-old mother living in the Hayaan IDP site in the Baardhere district, heading a family of 8. She has faced significant financial challenges in kick-starting her dream retail store business.
Her entrepreneurial aspirations were at risk of being unfulfilled after facing limited resources and a lack of access to traditional bank loans. She explained how the drought negatively affected her family’s livelihood, and they could thus not meet their basic needs. Before receiving the cash transfer from Acted, her children could sometimes only have one or two meals a day due to the lack of family income.
*Names have been changed to protect the identity of the beneficiary.
There is no doubt that everything in my life has changed positively and now I'm able to secure the necessary funds to launch my small business venture
Before Acted’s assistance, Saida had a small shop that she had to close due to limited resources. Saida benefited from three cycles of cash assistance for three months, with each month receiving $110. Thanks to Acted's support, and after using the cash assistance to cover her family basic needs, Saida was also able to secure the necessary funds to re-open her small business venture. She used the money to buy stock and commodities.
Her retail store is now providing essential goods and services to her community. The new business is steady, generating some income for her family. This revenue stream assures her that her family will at least be able to have a meal every day. Today, Saida's business serves as a beacon of hope and inspiration for others.