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Nutrition-sensitive cash+ in Somalia

Combining cash payments, nutrition education and provision of agricultural and livestock inputs to increase food security and improve diets of drought-affected pastoralists and farmers

In 2016 and 2017, a drought led to large-scale food insecurity across Somalia, affecting more than six million people, including over 900,000 children under the age of five likely to be acutely malnourished. Following the two-year drought, in 2018, heavy rains led to flooding in the southern part of the country. This severely affected farmers’ ability to cultivate during the following season. In response to this emergency, in 2018 the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) adopted a programmatic nutrition-sensitive Cash+ approach funded mainly by the World Bank through the “Somalia emergency drought response and recovery project”. This approach was further streamlined by the cash+ livestock projects funded by the Office of U.S. Foreign Disaster Assistance (OFDA).

FAO’s cash+ is a cash transfer modality that pairs unconditional cash transfers with productive inputs, assets and/or technical training, aimed at supporting beneficiaries to address immediate needs while also engaging in productive activities. Depending on the beneficiary groups, FAO provides cash+ crop, livestock, or fish packages. In short, cash+ interventions seek to enhance the food security, nutrition and income generation potential of vulnerable households. Against this background, this promising practice fact sheet explores how the cash+ model in Somalia can contribute to improving diets and food security of pastoralist and farming communities.

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