Social Safety Nets
The Social safety nets project in Somalia is an example of the great impact a modest amount of money can have on communities facing chronic food insecurity.
Many communities in Somaliland/Somalia continue to be affected by repeated disasters, including drought, increasing food prices, and conflict leading to vulnerability and food insecurity. Some of the key food security and livelihood issues faced by households in these pastoral areas include poor access to water and rangelands, low education levels and a lack of alternative livelihood opportunities. Many households are now finding pastoralism to be unproductive and are “dropping out” completely after being forced to sell their livestock in order to meet basic household needs. Other households are “splitting” in order to try and maintain some production from livestock, while other family members migrate in search of employment, or start small home-based businesses. This results in the inability of many households to earn sufficient income to meet basic household needs.
The two- year project builds on the first phase, implemented from 2010-2012 by Adeso and Save the Children, with the overall aim to reduce community vulnerability to chronic food insecurity in three regions of Somaliland/Somalia identified as being highly vulnerable to food insecurity.
The project is targeting 650 households, including labor-poor households and other poor and vulnerable groups within the community. To help households meet their basic needs and diversify their livelihoods base, Adeso is providing monthly unconditional cash grants, seasonal work opportunities through Cash for Work interventions, as well as training livelihood support grants. Households that currently earn some income but not enough to meet basic needs throughout the year will be provided with seasonally available support to enable them to top up their existing income during lean periods, and prevent households employing distress coping strategies. Additionally, the project is working together with the larger communities to increase their awareness of disaster risk reduction strategies. Another component of the project is to enhance the effectiveness of humanitarian organizations in Somalia to plan and implement cash-based interventions. This will be achieved through training workshops and coordination activities.
By providing a regular income stream (through cash grants) to households who are unable to work, and providing local livelihood opportunities in the form of livelihood support grants, targeted households will be in a better position, to both address their immediate food security needs but have a stronger, more viable livelihood base. Over time, the communities' capacity and resilience to livelihood related shocks will also improve, and the humanitarian actors in Somalia will be better placed to plan and implement cash based interventions.