Cash transfers help drought affected families in Somalia

Sunday 17 April 2022

Shamso* is 24 years old mother of two children and lives with her husband. She is now in the last trimester of her pregnancy. Like many other residents in her village, Shamso* lost all her goats, her primary source of income, due to the drought.

In the remote villages of Hasbahale, where Shamso* lives now, jobs are very few. Her husband works as a labourer in the village but finding a job has not been easy. In the village, there are 261 families who have been receiving regular, predictable, and reliable social transfers of $20 as part of the SAGAL social transfer programme implemented by the Somali Cash Consortium in coordination with Ministry of Labour and Social Affairs (MoLSA) and funded by the European Union. Shamso’s family was among families benefitting from the programme.

 Shamso* says with the money they received through the SAGAL cash transfer programme, she could use the money to pay off their debts and buy food to feed her children and family. 

How is Save the Children helping (or did we help) that child or family:


Shamso’s* family are benefiting from social transfer prgramme  targeting pregnant mothers in their last trimester and received three transfers. In December 2021, government issued a drought alert in Eyl district and as a response to the alert, 582 families received a top up for a total of $150  as part of SAGAL shock-response.


Interviewee's story in their own words (Quotes):

"We fled to this village in 2017, and the reason we were displaced was due to the drought. We didn’t have enough food, the situation was harsh. My children were hungry.  We lost our livestock, and we had to flee here to look for a place to live and survive." 

 "Our situation in Hasbahale is still very harsh, there are no jobs, and people struggle to find food for their children to survive." 

"My husband works as a labourer in the village, but sometimes he comes home with nothing, and we could not feed our children."

"I was fortunate to be selected for the programme and receive long-term, predictable and reliable cash transfers for a period of 24 months."

"Although the amount of cash allocated for the beneficiary was not enough to cover all the basic needs of a whole family, it has truly supported my family through such a harsh time,"

"We receive $20 every month from Save the Children, Ministry of Labour Social Affairs and European Union; this supports us paying debts and paying food to survive."

"The shock-responsive cash was amazing, quick and timely. We have received $150 at once. It has assisted us more becausee you can do a lot at once; we used the money to pay for food and water, clothes for children and pay off debts. Thanks to Save the Children, MoLSA and European Union for your kind support."


Background / Project information


The overall objective of this social transfer model is to alleviate the economic strains and increase access to maternal and child health and nutrition services, as well as access to nutritious food during this critical period through the provision of regular, predictable, and reliable cash-based social transfers. SAGAL has a shock responsive component embedded in each of the Social Transfer Models. This component has been defined based on the learning derived from the shock responsive cash transfer safety net pilot implemented by the Cash Consortium in 2019, 2020.

The Cash Consortium is implementing this cash-based social transfer model through the provision of unconditional social cash transfers to 21,551 households across the country. The focus is given to pregnant and lactating women to enhance human capital through the first 1,000 days and improve access to health and nutrition using nudges.