Knowing that a $60 transfer had arrived for me I took my place behind a long procession of Somalilanders eager to collect funds that their relatives, friends and broader kin had sent from other countries.
Imagine tightening your belt so you can set aside a few extra dollars for your kin threatened by famine and conflict, while knowing in the back of your mind that a bank can shut down the transfer service at a moment’s notice.
Families in Somalia and Somaliland depend on money transfers from friends and relatives abroad. Without the support, life would become unimaginably difficult for many. When that lifeline was threatened, Oxfam's partners sounded the alarm.
"If the young Somalis learn something while they are young, then they will be ale to take part in the progress of their mother country."--Ahmed
"I always think if this is my child, if they are like this, what could I do for them? Sometimes I cry when I see the mothers like me suffering and others less fortunate than me…"
The famine in Somalia shows no sign of easing and tens of thousands of people have died. The UN says 750,000 people are at risk of starvation.
Those who have made it to Mogadishu, often after long journeys by foot as they flee conflict and famine, end up in the overcrowded makeshift camps dotting the city. They live in densely packed areas in huts made of plastic sheets or rags supported by twigs.
In Dollo Ado, in Ethoipia's southern Somali region, Oxfam is reaching an estimated 11,000 people with clean water. Check out these photos from the relief effort.
“Our work now is a big help; you can say it offers a lifeline to people," says Oxfam partner Bashir Mohamed of his work in Somalia. "But there are still many people who need our help and their needs are ever-increasing."