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Improving rural livelihood by combining multi-purpose cash, small business support and grant: Anad’s poverty graduation

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Galkayo town has been the epicenter of deadly and sporadic clan clashes which has led to displacement, loss of livelihoods and lives. Anad, displaced by clashes and a vulnerable person living with disability, but now turned a successful businessman thanks to the multi-purpose cash transfers, financial literacy coaching, and savings culture inculcated by BRCiS business support programs funded by UK government through IRC (International Rescue Committee), narrates his journey to financial freedom.

Displaced by the conflict, Anad aged 50 years moved to Carfuuda, a small village approximately 30km to the east of Galkaayo town. He first opened a tea shop with a small contribution from relatives to generate income for his family. Although the shop could not generate enough income for family basic need and they had food on the table few times in the day. Then there came a drought in his locality which hugely affected the pastoral communities who were his customers. Many migrated in search of pasture and water for their animals while the few who remained lost their livestock. This led the closure of his tea shop which was the only source of livelihood for the family of 11 children. The family had to make ends meet through local coping strategies such as skipping meals or sometimes children being the only ones to eat food. The situation worsened, children become malnourished, shops stopped giving credits, and the family receded to having one meal per day.

Through the BRCiS supported multi-purpose cash transfers granted in times of crisis, Anad was selected as a vulnerable beneficiary who was also living with a disability. After receiving the cash transfer, the household was able to buy basic needs, children were fed well and the household was able to repay debts for the first time. Anad, had the ambition to restart his business and with some savings from the mult-ipurpose cash support, he managed to revive his business. “We can buy variety of foods, children nutrition status has improved, we repaid debts, and made some savings” he said happily.

As part of the BRCiS livelihoods graduation strategy, Anad was also selected as a beneficiary for business support grants worth $700 and provided with business skills training. Immediately, Anad expanded his business and restocked with new supplies such as food stuffs, utensils, clothes and many others. Using the skills gained through the training, he is now able to attract many customers and keep neat business records. His day to day business transactions had increased since receiving the grants, so did his business outputs. “Previously I was probably making 1-2 USD, but now, 15-20 USD daily and around 540 USD per month” says Anad.

Anad mentioned that in 2017, he received multi-purpose cash transfers for one complete year, but his life did not change much because the livelihood graduation pathway was not inculcated in the cash transfer program. He regards this model as the opportunity that completely transformed his life and changed the fortunes of his family for the better. According to him, he saves 150 USD per months for the expansion and future of his children. In addition to this, from his profit savings, Anad was able to construct two room concrete house for his family making him one of the few people who own such house in the village.

BRCiS (Building Resilience in Somalia) is a humanitarian consortium funded by FCDO (UK government) that takes a bottom-up approach to supporting Somali communities in developing their capacity to resist and absorb minor shocks without undermining their ability to move out of poverty. Its primary mandate is to help marginalized and vulnerable communities in building their own resilience.

Published by
Abdikarim Ali, NRC BRCiS Communication and advocacy coordinator