Hanging by a Thread: The ongoing threat to Somalia’s remittance lifeline

Every year, the Somali diaspora sends home approximately $1.3bn. Remittances account for 25–45 percent of Somalia’s economy and exceed the amount it receives in humanitarian aid, development aid and foreign direct investment combined. As Somali money transfer operators lose their bank accounts, Somali families are losing their only formal or transparent channel through which to send money.

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Somalia needs long-term support to build sustainable financial institutions, and urgent help to maintain its current remittance flows. This briefing reviews international efforts to facilitate remittances to Somalia and focuses on the US and the UK, where the threat to the Somali remittance system is most acute. It also looks at the uncertain future viability of the Somali remittance industry in Australia.



This event was launch the new briefing note Hanging by a Thread: The Ongoing Threat to Somalia’s Remittance Lifeline, a joint publication by Adeso, the Global Center on Cooperative Security and Oxfam, that evaluates efforts made by the international community to protect the indispensable role played by remittances in the Somali economy. The speakers discuss strategies that should be put in place to strengthen the remittance system and build sustainable financial institutions in Somalia.


Ed Pomfret, Somalia Campaigns & Policy Manager, Oxfam
Abdirashid Duale, CEO, Dahabshiil Group
Justine Walker, Director, Financial Crime (Sanctions and Bribery), British Bankers’ Association
Gail Warrander, Team Leader, Investment and Finance, Department for International Development
Chair: Laura Hammond, Head of Department and Reader, Development Studies, School of Oriental and African


Source: oxfam.org.uk/publications