“I Realized that I Was Going to Lose All My Children to Hunger”

An IOM project officer interacts with Kuuso during an emergency distribution in Dolow, Gedo Region of Somalia. © Hanni Mohamed / UN Migration Agency (IOM) 2017

Somalia - Kuuso Adan Yarow is a 37 year old mother of four residing in a makeshift shelter on the outskirts of Doolow, a town in the southern Gedo region of Somalia. Originally from Moragabey village in Wajid District, Bakool region; and now a resident of Kabasa IDP Settlement; Kuuso lost her entire livestock to a drought that caused massive crop failure across Somalia in 2017.

Without livestock, her family depended on well-wishers for survival. “When it got to a point that my three year old son could not stand because he had been deprived of food for two days, I realized that I was going to lose all my children to hunger. That is when I decided to leave Moragabey village,” Kuuso says.

An 11-day trek in scorching heat led Kuuso, her ailing mother and her four children (aged one, three, four and twelve) to the Kabasa IDP Settlement in Doolow. The treacherous journey took a toll on two of her children, who lost their lives along the way.
“My original destination was Ethiopia, but I stopped here because I had been told that there was a supply of food, water, health services and shelter,” Kuuso explains.

Humanitarian agencies, including the UN Migration Agency (IOM), provide basic services to families residing at the Kabasa IDP Settlement. However, owing to financial constraints, this support does not extend to livelihoods opportunities.

Kuuso says: “My family now gets an average of six meals a week. Our situation has improved, but I still need to beg in town, to cover for the rest of our unmet needs.”

In response to the vast needs on the ground, IOM is partnering with the Government of Somalia and the African Development Bank (AfDB) to provide emergency humanitarian relief assistance in the form of food and water to an estimated 25,800 drought-affected people in the south-western state of Baidoa and the Jubaland state of Dollow.

Kuuso’s family was selected to receive a voucher on a monthly basis which they use to access food and water. She notes, “This voucher allows my family to have two additional meals every day.”

Find out more about the project by visiting: https://www.iom.int/news/iom-african-development-bank-support-drought-af...

For more information, please contact IOM Somalia Programme Support Unit, Tel: +251 715 990600, Email: iomsomalia@iom.int.