ADDIS ABABA – The Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) said it has provided 4,500 drought-affected pastoral households in the Somali region with unconditional cash transfers to meet their immediate needs and invest in productive activities.
Each beneficiary household received 80 US dollars transfers between December 2019 and January 2020.
Households with few animals, as well as those headed by women, and with children, the elderly, and disabled, and sick persons were prioritized. They were drawn from Daror, Deghabur, Yoale Woredas or districts.
“Ultimately, the cash transfers will help improve food security, restore livelihoods, and minimize the need to resort to negative coping mechanisms,” said Fatouma Seid, the FAO Representative in Ethiopia.
Implemented in collaboration with the Somali regional government, Save the Children and Somali Microfinance Institution, the cash transfer intervention is part of the “Early Action” that FAO launched in 2019 to safeguard the livelihoods of vulnerable pastoral and agro-pastoral communities.
Pastoral communities were affected by below-average Belg rainfall in 2019, compounded by the impact of consecutive droughts in the previous years, as well as conflict-induced internal displacements.
These circumstances resulted in deteriorating animal body conditions, increased disease outbreaks, poor livestock market value, livestock death, and reduced milk yields, said the UN agriculture agency.
The “Early Action” is supporting 151 000 households in Afar, Oromia, Somali and Southern Nations, Nationalities, and Peoples’ regional states with livestock treatment services, supplementary animal feed and seed for food and forage production.
Image Caption: Mahaba Ibrahim says she and he young family have benefited from assistance. But she is still worried about future rainy seasons [Photo File/DW]