The drought in Somalia that prompted a pre-famine alert in January 2017 has led to severe food shortage, depletion of livelihood assets, disease outbreak, malnutrition deterioration and massive displacement. Over 6.2 million people are in need of assistance, with 3.1 being in a state of crisis and emergency and over 1 million being displaced. Despite the massive scale-up of humanitarian interventions, the threat of famine still persists in the worst affected areas.
The concerted action by the CASH Alliance Consortium is aimed at supporting the displaced pastoralist and agro-pastoralist communities (around 40,000 people) in the 29 most affected districts in Somalia.
This is achieved with multi-purpose, Unconditional Cash Transfers (UCT) disbursed on a monthly basis to selected households through a Mobile Money System using beneficiaries’ personal SIM card (or providing one if they don’t own it). Such system was designed to improve insecure beneficiaries' access to food and other basic needs, including safe water, medicines, allowing them to avoid resorting to petty trade in order to survive.
Cash-based response has proven to be efficient from previous experiences, as it increases transparency and is scalable to meet rapid surges in needed support; markets in Somalia have remained functional and there are adequate infrastructures to enable this modality to work efficiently.
In order to keep track of their advancement of UCTs, the Consortium has developed harmonized protocols for the targeting, registration and management of a beneficiary database, as well as a common data collection platform accessible to all members. The platform is also used to pilot the collection of beneficiaries’ biometric data, so as to avoid double-registering the same people.