Somaliland: providing cash to people displaced by conflict and drought

Digital cash aid is a smart way to help displaced pastoralists in Somaliland.

Somalia has experienced recurring droughts since 2015. Four consecutive failed rainy seasons have resulted in loss of livestock and food insecurity.

Extreme drought worsened by conflict

“We are very worried about the security situation in the area and reports of rainfall shortage in Sool region,” says Ibrahim Omar the Norwegian Refugee Council’s (NRC) area manager. “Because of this, a large number of displaced people in the region don’t have enough to eat.”

After a fierce war broke out between two neighbouring armed groups in Somalia’s Sool region, its villages turned into battle fields. Claiming more than a hundred lives and with many more injured, the conflict displaced more than 4,000 families.

“The fighting started 22 October 2018. I collected my children at home in the middle of the night, we left our village and went to the safest place away from the war zone. That is why we now live here in Timooley Valley,” says Fadumo.

Schools were shut down and people left their homes, fleeing the bullets. Women and children lost husbands and fathers.

“We gathered together with a number of other families and fled during the night, when there were fewer bullets. We came here, and the next day, we collected wood to build small huts. Some local people helped us with plastic sheets for cover.” says Fadumo.

Mobile cash transfer – simple and safe

Fadumo left everything behind when she fled to Timooley Valley, situated around 15 kilometres from her home village.

They lack food, water and material for shelter. The only way they can get the things they need, is to go to the closest local market – 70 kilometres away. Once a day, a car transports people from Timooley Valley to the market. NRC assists those who have been displaced with cash assistance, so that they are able to buy the things they need.

“Cash transfers are very helpful because we all have different needs. Some of us need medications. I’ve bought food, water, some clothing and shoes because some of my family fled bare footed,” says Fadumo.

Our work in Somaliland

NRC has been present in Somaliland since 2004. With support from ECHO, we provide a cash response to prevent famine and save lives in the most affected regions in Somalia. With this money, displaced people are able to buy the things they need the most.