Case Study: Save the Children, Somalia

The Challenge

A nation of over 15 million people, Somalia has been in a state of political unrest for decades, with civil war lasting over 30 years. In recent years, this instability has been compounded by a series of catastrophic droughts, leaving large numbers of the population displaced. In 2018, the African Development Bank (AfDB) launched their Say No to Famine – Short-Term Regional Emergency Response Project (STRERP) for Somalia, tasked with tackling food security in Somalia during these periods.

The Solution

The AfDB selected Save the Children, Somalia to manage the on-the-ground distribution of $20m worth of cash-based assistance across all three administrative regions of Somalia: Puntland, Somaliland and Southern States. Save the Children partnered with sQuid to run this cash-based assistance programme, using the sophisticated sQuid platform to distribute funds via contactless smartcards issued to beneficiaries.

Beneficiaries were able to purchase food from participating merchants who were equipped with sQuid’s mobile Point of Sale (POS) device. This method of cash distribution empowered the affected communities and sustained local economies, enabling the programme to be cashless end-to-end, thus reducing risks of diversion and ensuring goods and services reached the intended beneficiary.

Save the Children also benefitted from sQuid’s real-time data and management insights, which enabled them to significantly improve programme transparency and accountability, when compared with using paper vouchers or physical cash.

sQuid's cash-based assistance solution for Save the Children included:

Funds distributed via Contactless Smart Cards

Programme Management & Analytics Hub

Digital Accounts for Beneficiaries

Full Training & In-Field Support

“This was a huge success story for Save the Children. It was the first time that Save the Children has delivered a project of this magnitude using technology. The results exceeded our expectations, as we achieved 99.9% delivery using sQuid.’’

David Loki, Supply Chain Director, Save the Children, Somalia

The Results


Distributed over 9 months


Beneficiary households supported across 3 regions


Vendor locations equipped with 250 mobile POS devices


Food baskets distributed

Want more information?

If you would like more information about sQuid's cash-based assistance technology, please contact us and a member of our team will be in touch.