Abdi Yussuf, 47, lives in a Mogadishu camp for displaced families with his five children. Abdi’s wife passed away in January 2017 due to an illness (Abdi is not sure which illness). Shortly after the death of his wife, Abdi and his five children left their home in the Middle Shabelle region in Southern Somalia to seek aid in Mogadishu. Abdi mentions the drought and insecurity as the main reasons for displacement from his region, which has problems with both drought and conflict. Before the displacement, Abdi owned a small shop with basic foodstuff. He also had a few goats, which were used to supplement the income from the shop. When drought hit the area he lost both his business and the goats.
The failed Gu (long) and Dyre (short) rains of 2017 made the drought situations to progressively develop from mild to severe in all parts of Middle Shabelle region. This forced many families to flee and seek life saving support from the big towns like Mogadishu. Life is difficult. “Food has become unaffordable for us, so sometimes my family have to go to bed on empty stomachs. This is painful”, Abdi says.
A few months after arrival to Mogadishu, Abdi's family were among the households selected by NRC to receive cash relief. The programme – funded by the European Union (ECHO) – aims to improve food security among the most vulnerable households affected by drought and conflict.
The cash transfers through mobile phone enable beneficiaries to quickly get the money without travelling to the town or Hawala shops (a traditional system of transferring money through agents). Abdi has used the money for food, water, school fees and debts which occurred from his late wife’s illness and burial.
Date: February, 2018
Photo: NRC/EU Christian Jepsen