U.S banks move ruining the lives of families in #Somalia
Last week, a U.S based bank, Merchants Bank of Carlifornia NA, announced that it is closing the bank accounts of companies that transfer money to Somalia, despite calls for reconsideration. The move stunned the entire Somali community across the world and the international community that supports the state, calling the decision a ‘’catastrophe’’.
Now they are concerned for their relatives’ welfare and effects of the shutdown have started to emerge.
Somalia lacks an international banking system which makes difficult for citizens abroad to send money back home to their relatives. So, they use remittances to send the money every month that provides the families to meet their immediate needs for food, shelter, clothing, and other basic necessities as well able to set up small businesses, send children to school and support their communities during difficult moments.
However, since the central government of Somalia was overthrown in 1991, majority of the Somali people have been relying on money sent by relatives and friends living abroad becoming the single most important source of income.
It is believed that each year Somali citizens across the world send about $1.3 billion back home. These flows represent a significant share of Somalia’s economy and help to reduce Somalia’s reliance on assistance from foreign governments and international organizations.
This exceeds the total sum for humanitarian aid to Somalia, which reaches $800 million at its highest.
Somalis based in the U.S. send approximately 214 million dollars each year to support their families, relatives and friends that have been affected by the civil wars, nearly the same amount the U.S. sends in foreign assistance to Somalia estimated at 242 million dollars, a report delivered by international organizations says.