Cash-based transfers build small businesses for internally displaced women
02 February 2022
Fanta Daza’s small business is thriving. The mother of three has been selling ‘puff-puff’ – a fried fluffy dough made with flour, sugar, yeast and salt
Fanta Daza’s small business is thriving. The mother of three has been selling ‘puff-puff’ – a fried fluffy dough made with flour, sugar, yeast and salt – in her local market. But six months ago, Fanta’s “puff puff” business did not exist. In fact, a switch from in-kind food assistance to cash assistance via electronic vouchers by the UN World Food Programme (WFP) provided Fanta with an unprecedented opportunity to start the trade.
The 34-year-old and her three daughters have lived in the camp for two years and started benefitting from WFP in-kind food assistance in 2020. Like many IDPs in the country, Fanta is raising her 3 daughters far from her once peaceful home, in a place where building a solid livelihood is difficult. She no longer has access to her husband’s land or money to continue the small trade she did back home.
In February 2021, WFP started distributing the first electronic value vouchers in Zamai, which the beneficiaries used to redeem food commodities of their choice from accredited WFP retailers. The array of food items to choose from was staggering for some beneficiaries who had not visited a food stall since they settled in the camp.
“There was, rice, beans, meat, milk…they even had flour and sugar” Fanta said. That is where the idea to start her business, selling ‘puff-puff’ in the Zamai local market was born.
Fanta is determined to make her new business survive for her three daughters. In the past 6 months, the small business at the Zamai market has flourished as locals and IDPs who can afford it, enjoy the snack. Yet, Fanta says her biggest achievement is enrolling her eldest daughter in the nearby state-owned primary school where WFP also implements a school feeding assistance programme to the pupils.
“She missed the first school term in 2020, but I am happy I could finally afford the fees for her to attend classes. I never went to school and I want my children to live a much better life than me.’’