Somalis Face a Snag in Lifelines From Abroad

The New York Times, 3 August 2013, Nicholas Kulish

Compared with the trillions of dollars flowing through the international financial system every day, the estimated $1.3 billion sent each year from small storefronts in Somali neighborhoods in places like London and Minneapolis to families back home in the Horn of Africa is a mere droplet.

In a country where 40 percent of the population depends on remittances from relatives abroad, however, these transactions are a lifeline. And because Somalia has little in the way of financial infrastructure, the money transfer companies that make them possible play a central role in keeping the financial ties to the diaspora open, a few hundred dollars at a time.

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