Giving out unconditional and unrestricted Multi-Purpose Cash to those affected by the drought - Kaltun’s Story
Kaltun*, 40, a mother of nine, is grateful to God that all her nine children and her whole family are still alive despite their loss of all the livestock, which were their only means of livelihood, to the recurrent droughts in the Somali Region. Running out of options, Kaltun* and her family fled from Todob, their small village about nine months ago. They walked for more than four hours, and finally end up in a makeshift camp for internally displaced persons (IDPs) in Birlays, another village in Adadley District.
Livestock were the only source of income and livelihoods to the families such as Kaltun’s; they sold milk and animals at the local market and bought food with the money. They had never grown crop. Now, all their animals died due to the drought and the lack of pasture, water for their animals as well as the widespread diseases that had affected them. Kaltun’s* family is one of the several families whose lives and livelihoods has been disrupted by the current drought in the area due to consecutive failed rain. The family was accordingly identified as one of the recipients of the unconditional and unrestricted Multi-Purpose Cash (MPC) transfer scheme implemented by Save the Children Ethiopia with funding from Save the Children Italy.
Kaltun's story in her own words
“My name is Kaltun*, I don’t know my exact age. I may be in my early forties. My husband and I have nine children (five girls and four boys). The first two of our daughters are grown-ups and live on their own. None of my children have ever been to school, because there were no school in our area”.
“Before this drought, we used to own 3 camels, 4 cattle, 2 donkeys and more than 100 shoat (sheep and goat). Now, we have lost almost all of them to the drought. We are only left with a donkey and less than ten shoat”.
“Ever since we came here, we have been entirely dependent on the small food assistance that the government has provided us. Despite the government’s food assistance, Save the Children has also provided us with cash support. Today, I received 4,500 Birr ($88.5) from Save the Children and with the cash I received, I will first buy enough food for my children and I also want to pay the debt that I have at the nearby shop”.
“Although, the food handouts by the government and cash support from Save the Children are very critical to fulfil our immediate needs, both the food handouts and the cash we received are not enough to cover our family’s monthly food and non-food needs. However, the cash assistance will undoubtedly ease our financial burden and enables us fulfil some of our household basic needs”.
“Before the crisis, I used to feed my children a maize porridge with milk and occasionally provide them some spaghetti or rice. However, in recent days, both the price of spaghetti and rice has sharply increased and we have stopped eating these foods. These days, food prices at the local market are increasing by the day, while the market value of our livestock is worryingly decreasing. For example, now, the price of 25 kilograms of rice is about ETB 2000. It was only ETB 1000 a couple of months ago. The price of other food items such as onion, tomato, and cooking oil and related transportation costs also has sharply increased, and this makes it very difficult for us to provide our children with enough food every day”.
“My husband has tried to find work but there are no job prospects here in the IDP camp. Recently, he started to work in the nearby road construction company as a guard, but his earnings are too small to support us. We are struggling hard to survive here. I sometimes feel sad when I am not able to provide my children with enough food”.
“Finally, I would like to take this opportunity to say thank you to those who provided us this support. We ask them to continue to support us, until our situation improves”. “I wish my children who are now in school could reach the highest level of education and have a better life in the future”.
Comprehensive support to crisis affected families and children:
- Save the Children through its unconditional and unrestricted MPC cash project, funded by Save the Children Italy is currently assisting drought-affected internally displaced people at different camps in Adadley and Ferefer Districts of Somali Region, managing to reach 1733 households or 10,398 individuals.
- Provision of MPC assistance is accompanied by the provision of advice, guidance and awareness raising to eligible households on nutrition, and referrals and follow up to other available services. MPC transfer beneficiaries receive nutrition messaging, SBCC and nutrition counselling. Save the Children is also working with both government and NGO actors providing nutrition services to ensure that MPC beneficiaries are linked to other existing services through community based case management systems. The project also strengthen the capacity of existing community case management volunteers to provide information and support around protection.
- Save the Children through its education in Emergency project has constructed and furnished temporary learning spaces enabling children access to basic education services in their temporary settlements.
- Save the Children has finalized preparation and ready to deploy its emergency mobile health and nutrition teams to identify and treat malnourished children; and provide outpatient consultations on family planning and maternal support in those areas most affected by drought.
Story by Seifu Asseged