The humanitarian crisis in Somalia is one of the longest and most complex in the world. The country has experienced both armed conflict and worsening climatic shocks across different regions, a dangerous combination that has resulted in mass displacement, both within Somalia and across its borders.
The provision of cash has significantly increased access to basic needs and purchasing power among families affected by shocks such as floods and the COVID-19 pandemic.
According to the Somalia Humanitarian Bulletin, 5.9 million people are expected to be in need of humanitarian assistance due to climate-related shocks and protracted conflicts in 2021. In addition, three additional shocks throughout 2020 have contributed to a further deterioration of humanitarian conditions, namely flooding, desert locust infestation, and the socio-economic impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic. Furthermore, 2.7 million people remain in need of food assistance, demonstrating the rise in severity of food insecurity in Somalia.
To avoid negative coping mechanisms such as selling household assets among financially stressed households, the Consortium provided two cycles of unconditional cash transfers to 2,529 households. In doing so, beneficiaries have increased access to basic necessities whilst also enabling some families to make savings.
Halimo resides in Farjano Village in Kismayo with her family. Halimo’s husband, Mohamed Ahmed, used to work as a soldier, but had to retire due to an injury. Halimo explained their situation :“He was the breadwinner. Washing clothes for other people is my job but sometimes the little we get cannot meet the needs of my family”. The onset of COVID-19 worsened the financial situation of her family as people didn’t want her to visit their homes to do the washing. Fortunately, Halimo was selected to be part of the beneficiaries to receive cash support from the consortium. She was given USD 85 once a month for two months, 190 USD in total. This significantly benefited Halimo’s financial situation: “I saved some money from the grant and got a loan from the neighboring shop. With this, I established a small kiosk where I sell biscuits, candies, sugar and some vegetables.” Halimo can currently support her family and provide for their basic needs.
Thanks to the support I received, I am now able to support my family using the income from this kiosk. We can now cook twice a day, pay our house rent and also pay school fees for my two children
ACTED’s provision of cash assistance improved the financial capacity of vulnerable households to purchase necessary goods and services. In addition, the Action contributed to households’ resilience by increasing household assets through the purchase of livestock and capacity to produce food crops. The short-term emergency cash injections mitigated the impact of floods and COVID-19 pandemic shocks and prevented the further worsening situation of household assets and livelihoods.