Istahil’s kitchen garden & her “small business empire” FAO & WFP Resilience Initiative in Somaliland

Oct 2020

Istahil and her family used to depend on livestock. But after the goats all died following severe droughts in 2016-2017, Istahil decided to take up farming – which eventually opened the door for her to start both the restaurant and the kiosk. 

Despite having little knowledge about farming, Istahil embarked on it because she saw it as an opportunity to sustain her family. Her farming substantially improved after she enrolled in the joint Resilience Initiative, funded by Canada, and implemented by the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) and the United Nations World Food Programme (WFP). One of the benefits was WFP cash transfers to enable work on water catchments, subsequently upgraded by FAO and linked to irrigation systems.

Istahil is one of 160 women who benefit from this initiative, through which FAO and WFP work together to improve the resilience of jointly targeted communities in rural areas. Istahil has become a successful farmer and businesswoman.