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Unconditional cash transfer assistance rekindles hope to drought affected IDP families in Mogadishu

Ruweyda Ahmed, 38-year-old, a mother of 8 children calmly sits in her new homebased petty business nursing her baby and at same time waiting for customers to buy her items.

Ruweyda is among the many IDPs that live in the outskirts of Mogadishu IDP camps. She fled from Kuntuwaarey, Middle Shabelle four years ago due to drought. As the breadwinner of a household composed of nine members, she was lucky enough to be one of the 150 beneficiaries that have received unconditional multi-purpose cash transfer support provided by Save Somali Women and Children (SSWC). Taking advantage of the cash assistance and her desire to improve her life alongside her orphaned children, she invested a portion of the money in a petty business in her home where she sells basic items that are in demand in the camp.

“I felt happy when I received $70 through EVC. At first, I cleared 3 months’ fees arrears of the Quran school. Then I did little shopping for the children and bought basic food items such as rice, spaghetti and vegetables with remaining amount and some with credit purchase with the aim of starting business in the camp,” says Ruweyda.

Ruweyda used to travel to downtown early morning everyday to look for temporary unpredictable casual work like washing clothes, cleaning and other poorly paid house chores to earn a living for her children. She used to return back to her house in the evening only to meet her children in desperate situation where she can clearly read from their faces the restlessness, hunger and struggle they have undergone throughout the day.

This petty homebased business relieved me of the many financial burden I had been facing before. I used to travel in the morning to downtown to find unpredictable casual work such as washing clothes, cleaning among others and return back in the afternoon with meagre money on average of Ssh 15,000 ($0.60). In some occasion, I return back with nothing, despite the children suffering the whole day. Now I feel happy staying with my children while earning my daily bread from this business,” Added Ruweyda.

Amid difficulty financial situation, Ruweyda has high ambition to educate her children and she says “My eldest son has now reached the age to attend school but now I am struggling to get his school uniform and fee”. Ruweyda expressed hope and expects her business to grow. She reiterated the importance of the cash transfer as it provides flexibility to the beneficiaries. Additional cash assistance will enable Ruweyda and other beneficiaries to flourish their homebased small business and engage alternative income generating activities.

Some drought affected families that reside in the IDP camps in Mogadishu received unconditional cash assistant support from SSWC. This was funded by Dutch Relief Alliance (DRA) through OXFAM as part of Somalia’s Joint Response project (SOMJR). The beneficiaries received direct transfer of cash to their cell phones through EVC mobile money transfer. Families enjoy the flexibility of the cash as they buy what they need most. In addition to the unconditional cash transfers, the SOMJR project implemented by SSWC also imparts IDPs with income generating skills like tailoring, provision of solar lanterns, hygiene promotion and psychosocial support services for SGBV survivors among other activities. The project will run until December, 2023.

For the fourth consecutive year, Somalia is facing severe drought with over half the population at risk of famine. Aid agencies warn of unwanted consequences if urgent response is not received. Food, water and shelter remain the basic needs required by the millions of Somalis affected by the drought and inflation.


SSWC Headquarters, Soobe,
Wadajir Mogadishu Somalia

Phone: +254 20 374 4083
Mobile: +252 6184 72202