Kismayo, Somalia, 26 April 2022- UN-Habitat has disbursed the first tranche of direct cash transfers of USD 60 each to 221 households in internally displaced persons (IDP) camps and villages in western Kismayo as part of the emergency drought response.

The same 221 households will receive a total of USD 180 over a three-month period to support their families to survive the devastating effects of the drought. The initiative will benefit over 1,300 people indirectly. 

Over the last decades, the world has witnessed a rise in displacement caused by conflicts, natural or human-made disasters, and the effects of climate change, which have resulted in an escalation of the refugee and IDPS crisis globally. Disproportionately large percentages of refugees, IDPs and migrants are hosted by some of the most resource-scarce, and poorest countries in the world 

UN-Habitat’s Youth and Urban Regeneration Somalia Project (YOURS) is part of the UN Human Settlements Programme’s efforts to provide COVID-19 relief as part of its global mission to raise the sustainability and resiliency of cities and communities, particularly in the face of climate change.

This cash-transfer drought response initiative under the YOURS project is funded by the Government of Sweden as part of a larger project through the Swedish International Aid Agency SIDA, following a request from the government of Somalia as a more preferred and effective way to reach the most affected.

The use of unconditional cash-based programming in Somalia as a strategy for famine, drought and COVID-19 intervention is the predominant modality of the current response.  Unconditional cash in the hands of the affected households gives them the flexibility to allocate resources to the needs they find most pressing.

The emergency drought response initiative will run for a three-month period from April to June.

“Somalia is experiencing its worst drought crisis in a decade following three consecutive failed rainy seasons causing devasting effects for the people in the country. Many people have lost their source of income due to death of livestock and are forced to leave their homes in search for food and water – adding further strains on the most vulnerable communities and the large influx of IDPs in Kismayo. This initiative will support families to make ends meet during this difficult time,” said Asia Adam, Human Settlements Officer, UN-Habitat Somalia Programme. 

One of the beneficiaries of the first tranche of cash transfer is Khadijo Idow Aden, a mother of nine children, was forced to leave her home with her family because of the drought. Most of their livestock, which was their only source of income, have died from the drought. Without any source of income, and with the significant rise in food prices, she has been struggling to feed her family. The cash transfer has, therefore, been of great support for the survival of the family. 

“This money has helped us tremendously. I have been able to buy cereals such as maize and beans from the local market, as well as sugar, tea leaves, salt, and oil from the local shops. Finally, we have food in our house, and I can feed my family. This support has greatly contributed to the wellbeing of my family in a time of extreme hardship,” said Aden.