International bans hurting Hawala operators

Remittance is a lifeline to more than 40% of the Somali population

However a new research by aid agencies reveals that remittance by expatriates back to Somalia has been on a decline throughout the first half of 2015.

“The annual remittance through the Hawala is estimated to be US$1.2 to $2 billion per year a sum larger than foreign aid and mainly used to meet food and other basic necessities”.

In the past, banks in the US and the UK have closed accounts used by Somali remittance firms, fearing that funds could end up in the hands of militant groups.

After the collapse of Somalia’s central government the informal money transfer system known as Hawala has provided a vital link in maintaining international cash flows.