Past eventResearch Event

Preserving Somalia's Remittance Lifeline

19 February 2015 - 3:30pm to 5:00pm

Chatham House, London


Ed Pomfret, Somalia Campaigns & Policy Manager, Oxfam
Abdirashid Duale, CEO, Dahabshiil Group
Justine Walker, Director, Financial Crime (Sanctions and Bribery), British Bankers’ Association
Gail Warrander, Team Leader, Investment and Finance, Department for International Development
Chair: Laura Hammond, Head of Department and Reader, Development Studies, School of Oriental and African Studies



Somalia receives approximately $1.3 billion in remittances from the diaspora each year, accounting for between 25 to 45 per cent of the economy, and exceeding what the country receives in foreign direct investment, humanitarian and development aid combined. Without a functioning commercial banking system, the diaspora depends on the services of money transfer operators (MTOs) for the regulated transfer of remittances. However, Somali MTOs are struggling to maintain links with increasingly risk-averse international banks, thus threatening Somali citizens’ access to finance.

This event will launch the new briefing note Hanging by a Thread: The Ongoing Threat to Somalia’s Remittance Lifeline, a joint publication by Adeso, the Global Center on Cooperative Security and Oxfam, that evaluates efforts made by the international community to protect the indispensable role played by remittances in the Somali economy. The speakers will discuss strategies that should be put in place to strengthen the remittance system and build sustainable financial institutions in Somalia.