Cash Transfer Keeps Amina’s Family Together

Published November 21, 2017 by SERP Team

Amina and her children outside their home near Dhahar town, Sanaag region September 2017


Outside their nomadic home near Dhahar, a town in the northern Sanaag region of Somalia Amina places a kettle on the firewood that she had just lit to prepare dinner. Beside her sat her four children patiently in anticipation of a meal to be ready soon. Three months ago the family was living on one meal a day and dinner was a luxury that they couldn’t afford.

Majority of the Somali population are pastoralists who rely on their livestock for survival. In difficult times, selling livestock buffers the vulnerable households from food insecurity and starvation. With the proceeds of livestock sales families often purchase food, settle a previous debt and send sick family members to seek medical attention and buy medicine.

When pastoralists like Amina Ali Yusuf lose their livestock, it’s the beginning of a great suffering and a struggle for their lives. Without their primary source of income, families migrate to towns and IDP camps hundred miles away in search of help. And women are often left to care for the children without any asset or income while the men seek alternative livelihood options elsewhere.

“The loss of our animals last year paralleled with the sickness of my husband. The responsibility of taking care of the whole family was left to me. Without any means of income, I struggled to feed my family. Many nights we would go to bed with an empty stomach. But I worried most for the children, I wasn’t sure how I was going to feed them until Adeso started giving us cash assistance.”

Amina’s family has been receiving $150 for the past 3 months the cash transfer as a life-saving support that helps her family buy food and other essential supplies. Before receiving the cash Amina’s family was at risk of starvation. If it weren’t for the cash transfer her family might have eventually been forced to flee like many others who lost their livelihoods. This would mean walking for days to find an IDP camp where they could stay, and possibly losing a child to hunger and disease along the way.

“The cash helps me buy food for my family and medicine for my husband. But most importantly it keeps my family together. We don’t have to migrate like many did, and we don’t have to risk insecurity and starvation on the way,” explained Amina.

Thanks to the Somalia Emergency Response Project (SERP) which Adeso is implementing with the support of the Somalia humanitarian Fund (SHF) vulnerable families like Amina’s can live through their difficult circumstances.