New Oxfam report on remittances to Somalia: keeping the lifeline open
Oxfam America has today published a report entitled Keeping the Lifeline Open: Remittances and Markets in Somalia.
The report focuses on remittance flows from the United States, but has important points to make about money transfers to Somalia from the United Kingdom.
- The global Somali diaspora send around $1.3 billion back to Somalia every year
- Approximately $162 million is sent from the UK alone
- The continuation of this support from the diaspora is essential for Somalia to emerge from its humanitarian emergency and political crisis
- Somali money transfer companies are a critical link in the remittance chain – Western companies and banks “have little or no presence”
- Like their British counterparts, most American banks have ignored the heavy investments made by Somali money transfer businesses in anti-money laundering compliance systems, policies and training
The executive summary of the report states:
Account closures have already endangered the lives and livelihoods of Somalis… Further closures could have disastrous consequences, up to and including a complete shutdown in the formal remittance system.
Source: Oxfam America