Oxfam reaction to Barclays Bank’s stoppage of money transfers to Somalia

Senait Gebregziabher, Oxfam’s Country Director for Somalia said: 
“In recent years, more and more banks have been refusing to process money transfers to Somalia, making it more difficult for Somalis to send money home. We recognize that banks are concerned money could be laundered or used by extremist groups. However, we’re also deeply concerned about the effects that these account closures will have on families who depend on the money for basic necessities such as food and health care. As long as there is due diligence, money transfers should be allowed to continue -- if they are stopped, the resulting humanitarian fall out will be too great, and many more Somali families would fall back into crisis.

“Soon to be published research supported by Oxfam suggests that Somali migrants in the UK send $162 million (over £100 million) per year back to Somalia as remittances, which provide an essential lifeline for families, including at least one million people still reliant on humanitarian aid. Banks need to review and negotiate with the authorities and regulators to clarify processes so vital funds can continue to flow.” 

Contact information: 

Geno Teofilo, Oxfam in Somalia Media Lead +254 737 500 035

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