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Reference : V-F-CR-F-01811-N
Date : 28/04/2017
Country/Region : SOMALIA
Title : Somalia : cash lifeline for drought-hit homes
Duration : 00:06:31
Director : ABDIKARIM, Mohamed
Confidentiality level : public
Publication restrictions : publication without restrictions
Copyright : ICRC
Production company : ICRC
ICRC producer :
ABDIKARIM, Mohamed
Cameraman : NG`ANG`A KAMAU, Mark
Editor : NG`ANG`A KAMAU, Mark
Production reference : AV635N
Description : Drought has brought Somalia to the brink of famine, but a modest injection of cash can give families in rural areas a lifeline to see them into the expected rainy season. More than 55,000 homes in Somalia have already received $100 to improve their nutrition situation. The most vulnerable of them will receive up to three rounds of cash to help them get back on their feet.
Isaaq Gaas, a 54 year old farmer in Anjaraale village, 15km from Baidoa town, lost all his crops to the drought that has ravaged most of Somalia. He moved his wife and children to one of the crowded IDP camps on the outskirts of the town, so that they could get food and water from aid agencies. But Isaaq remained behind to prepare his land for the April – June rainy season, known as the Gu.
He has just received $100 in cash from the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC). The money is part of a program to support drought-hit families in hard to reach, conflict prone areas. With the money, Isaaq bought food for his family and, crucially, spent the rest on seedlings for the farm.
But Isaaq is not giving up. He is determined to continue preparing for the coming rains.
Many people in donor countries tend to view humanitarian relief in terms of goods: food, medicines, or materials for shelter. But globally, the case for cash has become increasingly compelling. At the World Humanitarian Summit in Istanbul last year, major donors and agencies pledged a Grand Bargain to increase cash programming in the delivery of humanitarian aid.
In Somalia the drought has left over half the country in need of assistance, and the ICRC has stepped up its response, supporting up to 60,000 families with cash. The $9,000,000 package complements more traditional ICRC programmes such as food and health support for drought affected communities.
Garen Ismail, 25, is the mother of six boys, and lives in the village of Jidow. Her family once had eight cows, and a farm. The drought wiped out the crops and, to survive, they sold the cattle one by one, until they were left with just one cow. When her husband became resigned to selling it too, for just $10, a text message confirming receipt of money from the ICRC programme gave them the chance to keep their last cow instead. Garen is now able to feed her six boys and intends to stay put until the next rains.
Cash to victims of conflict and natural disasters in Somalia has been used by the ICRC before as an alternative approach. Since 2013, cash grants have been made to families during emergencies such as drought and floods, in cash for work programmes to dig rain water catchments or irrigation canals as well as in income support to build resilience among IDPs.
For Somalia, cash injections strengthen the local markets and, with the growth of digital payment systems, can be delivered instantly in an affordable, secure and transparent way.
And for Isaaq and Garen, the cash lifeline gives them greater choice and more control over how to meet the needs of their households during the on going crisis. More importantly, they are able to cope with the effects of the persistent drought with a greater sense of dignity.
Original language : International soundtrack
English title : Somalia : cash lifeline for drought-hit homes
Colour/B&W : colour
SD/HD : HD
Resolution : 1920 x 1080
Aspect ratio : 16/9
Original material/format : H264
Best material/format available : ProRes 422

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