Save the Children partners with sQuid to deliver aid programme in drought-affected Somalia
Nairobi - 9 June 2017
Programme delivers essential food assistance to over 3,500 households through the distribution of sQuid’s e-voucher smartcards.
Save the Children, the international humanitarian agency, has partnered with sQuid, the digital transaction solutions provider, to deliver much-needed aid to families displaced by drought and conflict in north-east Somalia.
The programme, which is funded by USAID, supports over 3,500 vulnerable households in the state of Puntland, Somalia by providing assistance in the form of e-voucher smartcards, enabling families to purchase essential food packages – consisting of four commodities - from local merchants.
The drought situation in Somalia and the wider Horn of Africa region is getting progressively worse, with famine looming, but distributing large amounts of food through in-kind distributions is increasingly being seen as less effective and less efficient.
sQuid's proven e-voucher solution enables Save the Children to provide assistance, rapidly, to families affected by the back-to-back droughts and conflict - and significantly improves programme transparency and accountability when compared to paper vouchers.
The end to end solution, which operates multi-wallet smartcards and mobile payment terminals, effectively regulates the amount a beneficiary can purchase in a month. Digital value is sent to the smartcard via the terminal, enabling local collection and spend without the need for an “always on” internet connection. The use of e-vouchers as an aid delivery mechanism also ensures programme funds help to stimulate the local economy.
The drought and resulting food shortage have left 6.2 million people - more than half of the population in Somalia in need of urgent lifesaving assistance. Currently more than 3.2 million people face crisis and emergency as the situation continues to deteriorate. Children in Somalia are the hardest hit. Of the 6 million people in need of humanitarian assistance in the conflict-stricken country, 3 million children are in need of urgent lifesaving assistance in the form of food, water and health care.
Save the Children partnered with sQuid due to their extensive programme experience in the East Africa region, where sQuid are providing ongoing programme support from their operational base in Nairobi, Kenya.
Stephen Mutiso, Head of Child Poverty for Save the Children, commented: “Providing food assistance to drought-affected families eases some of the hardship that they face during this crisis. We partnered with sQuid because of the enhanced security that their system provides when compared to paper-based systems.”
Simon Kaniu, General Manager of sQuid Kenya, added: “Using our extensive payments and programme experience in the sub-Saharan East Africa region, we were able to mobilize quickly and deliver aid in partnership with Save the Children to families affected by drought. Our secure e-voucher technology – which is underpinned by sQuid’s regulated, high-integrity payment system – enables NGO’s such as Save the Children to deliver aid, quickly and efficiently, to vulnerable families affected by crises.”
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Notes to editors
sQuidcard Limited (“sQuid”) is a UK-based eMoney service operator. sQuid has built an end-to-end technology platform, and a supporting business model, for creating, processing and settling digital transactions using proprietary technologies.
About sQuid Kenya:
sQuid Kenya is fully owned subsidiary of sQuidcard Limited that delivers intelligent interventions, applying its technology to deliver electronic cash transfers, digital attendance monitoring, learning development programmes and programme management for the education and aid sectors.
About Save the Children:
Save the Children gives children around the world a healthy start, the opportunity to learn and protection from harm. We invest in childhood — every day, in times of crisis and for our future.