Wednesday, July 31, 2013

Threat to Somali Remittances

An estimated $1.3 billion is sent annually to Somalia by migrants.  Most of it is facilitated by Somali-American money transfer operators.  Many US banks consider the operation politically risky and no longer participate, threatening closure of the entire system.  InterAmerican Dialogue, Adeso, and Oxfam America published on 31 July 2013 a study titled "Keeping the Lifeline Open: Remittances and Markets in Somalia" by Manuel Orozco and Julia Yansura, which reviews the consequences of a shutdown and makes recommendations to keep it open.

For a related discussion, see the 29 July 2013 "Interview: Somalia, Remittances, and Unintended Consequences: In Conversation with Abdirashid Duale" concerning the decision by Barclays to close most of its money service transfer accounts.

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