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Cash transfers are rebuilding lives and creating resilient communities in Uganda

In 2017, Elly Lomoro, a 38-year-old refugee from South Sudan, fled together with his family of 6 following military insurgencies in his home country.

Posted on 15 Dec 2022

Written by Monday Justus and Grace Akeso

When they arrived in Uganda, they were resettled in Imvepi Refugee settlement. Like many refugee families living in the settlement, starting a new life has not been easy for them.

Elly, who has a chronic medical condition, was abandoned by his wife and brother leaving him with young children under his care.

After months of inconsistent support, Elly met the Danish Refugee Council (DRC) team following a referral from the local leaders in the community.

Given my medical condition, I needed health care and that came with limited opportunities to work to earn us a living, making it very challenging for me to take care of the children. At the time, food rations provided by the World Food Program were also reduced. Cereals that were given were dry and needed to be ground before consumption (posho and porridge), and I had no money for grinding and buying other foods like greens, groundnuts, silver fish to supplement what we received.

/  Elly Lomoro, a refugee from South Sudan

Cash offers hope to Elly and his family

In October 2021, Elly was enrolled to receive cash from the Uganda Cash Consortium project which is funded by the European Union Humanitarian Aid (ECHO).

He started receiving monthly cash support of 210,000 Uganda shillings (approximately 54 EUR) for eight months. In July 2022, due to his medical condition among other vulnerabilities, Elly was enrolled again to receive cash assistance.

The monthly cash assistance has enabled him to cater to his family’s basic needs that he would otherwise be unable to afford. 

When we assessed Elly we found out that he had a serious medical condition, is a single father with children under his care - who were at the risk of dropping out of school.

/  Monday Justus - a Cash Assistant at DRC

I have been able to construct a new shelter to decongest the old one which I was sharing with children, buy curtains for the house, buy uniform, shoes, books and pens for the children, charcoal for cooking and grind cereals for consumption. I am happy I changed my diet and as you can see, I have gained weight.

/  Elly Lomoro - a refugee from South Sudan

Elly also received permaculture training from a DRC project funded by the International Water Management Institute (IWMI). Through the training, he acquired knowledge and skills in kitchen gardening and crop spacing which he has used to better his life.

Furthermore, Elly has been referred to the Transcultural Psychosocial Organisation (TPO) where he is receiving psychosocial support to deal with his traumatic past. This will enable him to fully reintegrate into the community.

After the training, I received seeds, seedlings and a watering can to use during the dry season. Thanks to the training, I now have a backyard garden where I plant and harvest vegetables to consume with my family.

/  Elly Lomoro - a refugee from South Sudan

Elly also received a mobile phone through the project and was supported to get a Simcard from MTN to enable him to receive his cash through mobile money.

The Uganda Cash Consortium distributes cash assistance using mobile money, agent banking and direct cash transfers. Project beneficiaries are given leverage to select their preferred and most convenient mode of cash transfer.

Elly is hopeful that with his newly acquired skills and the cash assistance, he will be able to hire land to cultivate crops and start a small business to sell second-hand clothes.

This will enable him to have a constant income to consistently meet his family’s growing needs.

The Uganda Cash Consortium Project

Danish Refugee Council (DRC) in consortium with the Uganda Red Cross Society (URCS), The Lutheran World Federation (LWF), and the United Nations Capital Development Fund (UNCDF) implements the Uganda Cash Consortium multi-purpose and sector-specific cash assistance to the most vulnerable refugee households in Southwest and West Nile regions of Uganda. In 2022, the project is supporting 1003 households in Imvepi refugee settlement with monthly cash transfers for non-food basic needs.


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