Responding to Drought Situation in Somalia Through Unconditional Cash

Response to Drought Emergency Situation in Somalia (REDRESS) was a six-months emergency intervention designed to respond to the critical food security needs of communities adversely affected by drought in Karkaar and Nugal regions of Puntland. The emergency intervention’s objective was to “save lives, reduce human suffering and protect livelihoods of populations affected by drought in Somalia.” 800 vulnerable households (4,800 people) were targeted to meet their immediate basic needs and adopt positive coping strategies through unconditional cash transfer. Each beneficiary household received a total of US$ 250 (US$ 50 per month for five months).

Some of the beneficiaries share their stories

Abdirahman Mohamed Seyte, 50 years old

As a nomad, I have always kept livestock (goats and camels) and life was easy. But most of my livestock died due to lack of rainfall for several seasons. After I lost my livestock, I decided to move to another village and start a new life which was different from my previous life. I decided to sell the remaining livestock and opened a small business to cater for my family’s needs. However, the business was not doing well and it became difficult for me to provide for my family. After a while I was enrolled as a beneficiary with ADRA where I received unconditional cash for five months. When I became one of the beneficiaries, I felt it would be a new hope for me. I decided to divide the money into two. One part, I buy food for my family and the other part, I joined a savings group so that I can have a good financial plan for the future.”

Dhudi Mohamed Abdullahi, 40 years old

I depend on livestock to sustain my life. Occasionally, I sell the meat to neighbours. Part of the meat is shared out with others who do not have money to buy. Majority of my neighbours are poor and cannot afford to buy meat daily, so I slaughter a goat once a week. It was very difficult to cater for all our households needs since the livestock business is the only income we have. I thank ADRA for registering me as a beneficiary for this project. I have received cash through my phone directly and I spend the money to buy food and pay for my children’s fees.

Maryan Hersi Gelle, 60 years old

“As the head of the family, my life has been very difficult. With no source of income, I have had to borrow and rely on relatives and well-wishers for something to feed my family. Most are the times when we didn’t have food. When I was identified as a beneficiary, I was very happy. The money I received has helped me cover some of our needs. I used the money to buy food such as rice, sorghum and sugar. My five children are now happy as there is food available. I would request ADRA to continue the project as it helped us a lot and also helped the most vulnerable people.”

Halimo Mohamed Ismail, 52 years old

As a mother of seven children, I depend on my small grocery shop and support from my husband who works as a construction worker where he earns US $3 per day. We lived a day at a time not knowing where our next meal would come from. I was elated when I was selected as one of the beneficiaries of the cash project. The cash is good because we have been struggling to manage with the little that we had. The unconditional cash has enabled us to have enough food for the entire family.