Droughts and flooding are increasingly commonplace in the Horn of Africa — which is experiencing the worst drought in 40 years.
In response, the aid sector has scaled up emergency cash transfers in recent years — but this is a short-term solution. To create longer-term resilience, the sector is working with governments in Somalia and Somaliland on distributing social protection cash transfers — which are more dependable and longer term — as part of efforts to build a broader social safety net system.
“Humanitarian cash focuses only on saving lives — it does not contribute to the reduction of poverty,” said Mohamud Isse Yusuf, social protection program manager at Save the Children Somalia. “If communities receive cash transfers for a long period of time, it will build their resilience against future disasters.”
As part of this, the Somali Cash Consortium, a coalition of NGOs, is providing cash transfers to pregnant and lactating mothers in Somalia and Somaliland. It hopes its cash programs can encourage them to visit health clinics regularly and improve their nutrition and that of their newborn child.
“The women in the program come more regularly than other mothers. It also encourages other mothers to come, because they think that one day they will be involved in the program,” said Filsan Mohammud, a nurse at a maternal health center in Puntland’s Yake village.
To view the whole story click the link below
Join Devex on the ground as we visit Somalia and Somaliland to document the building of social protection systems.
About the author
Sara Jerving is a Senior Reporter at Devex, where she covers global health. Her work has appeared in The New York Times, the Los Angeles Times, The Wall Street Journal, VICE News, and Bloomberg News among others. Sara holds a master’s degree from Columbia University Graduate School of Journalism where she was a Lorana Sullivan fellow. She was a finalist for One World Media’s Digital Media Award in 2021; a finalist for the Livingston Award for Young Journalists in 2018; and she was part of a VICE News Tonight on HBO team that received an Emmy nomination in 2018. She received the Philip Greer Memorial Award from Columbia University Graduate School of Journalism in 2014. She is based in Nairobi and has reported from over a dozen countries.