Nairobi (ICRC) – More than 150,000 households, most of them in south and central Somalia, received enough money to buy food for a month, the first in a series of monthly payments intended to provide emergency relief to people pushed out of their homes by the severe drought battering the country.
Each family was given $90 to cover the cost of food or other necessary items, through a programme run by the International Committee of the Red Cross totaling more than $13 million so far.
“When I received the money, I used $50 to open a small shop. I am using the rest of the money to buy food for my children”, says Dadir Ahmed Adan, who has been living in Shil Gadud displacement camp for the past two months. “I left Bakool region after losing my livestock because of the drought. The rains failed three years, so the animals all died.”
The drought has lasted for four consecutive rainy seasons, and its economic impact on the vulnerable communities is aggravated by the protracted armed conflict and rising food and fuel prices. The purpose of cash assistance is to help the most vulnerable people to survive and to minimize debt. “The transportation from Bakool to Beledweyne was on credit. I paid back my debt to the driver after receiving money from ICRC,” Dadir Ahmed Adan explains.
With the next rain due in October, rural families, stripped of their livelihoods, continue to flee to towns, hoping to receive help from relatives and aid groups. More than 30,000 people were displaced in May, 100,000 in June, while July recorded 83,000, according to the UN data. Since January 2021, more than a million people are believed to have been displaced because of the drought.
To help people build resilience in the face of the worsening impact of climate shocks, the ICRC supports agricultural cooperatives with training, drought resistant seeds, farming tools and cash for fuel needed to irrigate.
“The cooperatives have a good chance to survive even during this drought”, says Hassan Nur, an agronomist at the ICRC. “People come together as a community and when they are motivated, they use their energy and produce good results.”
The ICRC will continue distributing cash assistance to people in the conflict affected areas of Somalia, and rehabilitating boreholes and wells. Communities in these places will also continue benefiting from primary health care services and mobile health clinics and receiving protection support.
For more further information, please contact:
Abdikarim Mohamed, ICRC Somalia, tell: +254 770 171 756, email@example.com
Alyona Synenko, ICRC Nairobi, tell: +254 716 987 265, firstname.lastname@example.org
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