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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.

Key findings:

  • 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

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