New assessment confirms major drop in remittances to Somalia

In recent years, Somali money transfer operators (MTOs), which represent the only legitimate mechanism through which the Somali diaspora can send money to their loved ones in Somalia, have struggled to maintain bank accounts. Remittances play a vital role in supporting vulnerable Somali families, with 41 percent of urban-dwelling Somalis receiving remittances. They spend the vast majority of the cash to meet basic needs like food, shelter, health care, and education.

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The man changing the world of remittances

In the years following the attacks of 11 September 2001, it is not surprising that Western security forces and authorities clamped down hard on the money transfer industry. Fearful that some remittances being sent to countries in eastern Africa, the Middle East and South Asia could be being used to fund terrorist activities, a number of smaller money transfer companies were shut down.

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