Friday, 1 March 2013
Oxfam & HIJRA: e-cash for Somalia
In August 2012, HIJRA (Humanitarian Initiative Just Relief Aid) together with partner OXFAM, launched Somalia’s first ever E-Cash livelihoods program. The initiative, designed jointly with Nation Link telecom, is the first of its kind to be piloted in the country, benefiting 2,090 urban poor Households in Mogadishu. The program, a 150 USD mobile cash distribution, has been designed to target skilled urban poor residents for use in business and resilience building activities.
Oxfam and Hijra’s innovative new “e-cash” project to deliver aid to people helps women like Kadija Mohammed, who uses the $150 she receives to invest in her small shop, say receiving mobile cash gives her far more options than traditional food aid:
“The money gives me choices, it gives me the power to buy and sell things… all you can do with the food is eat.”
Although in its early stages, many people find the mobile money transfers to be safer and quicker than other methods.
In drought-hit Somalia, vulnerable people are buying food with mobile phones – thanks to you. Oxfam and local organisation Hijra are distributing cash as text messages. It’s an easy, secure way of transferring money, and gives people the freedom to spend it on what they need most: food, school fees or an investment in their small business. Watch this clip from news agency Al Jazeera to see the brilliant scheme in action.
The e-cash Program Components Include:
• Distribution of Mobile phones
• Training on usage
• Security Sensitization
“Before we waited too long sometimes spending all day in the hot sun to receive our monies. I never felt safe after to carry cash in town! Now it comes straight to our phones! I can go to anywhere and transfer the monies to shopkeepers for what I buy. I am too happy for this! Thank you HIJRA, you are truly a blessing.” - Halima Omar, Mogadishu