Somalis concerned by US decision to end Hawala system
Millions of people in war-torn Somalia are feared to lose remittance they’ve being receiving so far, following a decision by the US to end services of its money transmitter clients by the end of July.
According to a study published last year by human aid organizations, about 40% of Somali families rely on remittance from another country. The US regulatory agencies say they fear that money launderers or militant groups would exploit them. However, Somalis say they’re concerned about their future in case of losing the money also known as Hawala. Demonstrations have already been held outside the US Department of Treasury office in the Somali inhabited city of Minneapolis to protest Washington’s decision. The demonstrators called on American lawmakers to change their policies, so that Somali families can receive money from their relatives in the United States. Until recently, the UK-based Barclays Bank has fought hard to shut down the accounts of Somalia’s leading money-transfer operator Dahabshiil. The remittance company however won a further reprieve after it sought an injunction against Barclays' decision to close its account. Remittance is regarded as the largest source of income in Somalia. Things are believed to become more difficult, with the arrival of the fasting month of Ramadan. Many are saying that an end to the service will have a negative impact. But to many who see it as a lifeline, life will never be the same again. -