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24 August 2022 - Story

Drought affected pregnant mothers were relieved by funds from European Union

*Names changed to protect identity.

Thirty-two years old Samira* is a mother of six and lives in an internally displaced people (IDP) camp in the Southern Somalia. Her family herded 40 goats in the countryside until the drought affected their goats which was family’s main source of income. They were then forced to move to other areas in search of pasture and assistance. 

Samir was displaced and arrived in this IDP camp. She become pregnant while in the camp and have ben received health services a health facility where the European Union-funded SAGAL project supports pregnant mothers.  She was enrolled into the programme and has been regularly receiving an entitlement of $US 20 per month since October 2021.

In addition to that, Samira* also benefited from the shock-responsive safety net (SRSN) for drought-affected households; receiving a top-up of $US 40 in May and June of this year.  With the additional cash support, she was able to build her kiosk and sells vegetables and other food items such as pasta, beans, rice, sweets and sugar among other household items, such as washing powder. 

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

Save The Children, through the Somali Cash Consortium and the Ministry of Labour and Social Affairs (MoLSA), implements the SAGAL social protection project in Southern Somalia by providing social transfer schemes targeting pregnant women, elderly at higher risk of contracting COVID-19, and shock responsive safety net to vulnerable drought-affected households in southern Somalia where Samira* has benefited from the assistance and has started her small business to provide an income to her household and pay for the school fees of her children.


Quotes from Samira:

“My name is Samira* I am a 32-year-old mother of six: three girls and three boys, all aged between six months and twelve years old. I, together with my husband and children, live in an IDP camp. We moved here after we lost our source of livelihood due to the drought that we have been experiencing for many months.  Also, in our village, there are recurring clan conflicts, hence we had no choice but to move to be able to find something to survive on as we lost all that we owned.

What has changed?

When we arrived here in the camp, we hardly knew anyone and it was tough to survive. I am glad the government and Save the Children were able to support us with social transfers at the most needed time and I was able to pay household expenses, send my children to school and pay water bills.  

Since I received the cash assistance from the government and Save the Children our life has changed gradually and I feel better with the increase in household income. I was able to save up and start my own small business so that I would be self-reliant.  

Worries and Hopes

“I have lost my livestock due to the drought, and my children at times had to go to bed without eating before receiving the support from the government and Save the Children”.

“Now I hope to continue working in my small shop in the camp and expand it to be able to sustainably cover for our basic needs and pay the school fees of my children.


Background / Project information

Through the EU-funded SAGAL project, implemented by the Ministry of Labour and Social Affairs (MoLSA), the Somali Cash Consortium and Save the Children provide social transfers to vulnerable pregnant and lactating women supporting early childhood development to improve the first 1,000 days of a child’s life with cash-based social transfers and access to health and nutrition services that may contribute to their family's income.  

Samira and her family are among more than 20,000 families who receive regular, predictable and reliable social transfers with a value of $US 20 per month as part of one of the four social transfer models under the SAGAL program. With this assistance, Samira's family is able to pay off some of their debts and purchase food for her children and her family.

SAGAL has a shock-responsive component embedded in each of the Social Transfer Models. Through DG ECHO (the humanitarian brunch of the European Union) funding, the Somali Cash consortium was able to activate the shock response component to support drought-affected communities to improve their access to food and other basic needs. Through the consortium, Save the children scaled up their response by providing shock-responsive assistance to the most vulnerable households. Save targeted the most vulnerable 1,728 HHs among the existing SAGAL caseload through vertical top-up in Adado, Abdudwak, and Dhuusamareeb districts and newly targeted 600 households in Eyl district.