My article in the Christian Science Monitor on the after-effects of Merchants Bank’s decision to stop servicing wire transfers to Somalia is being presented to US House and Senate offices, as well as NGOs Oxfam and the Global Center on Cooperative Security, as a source on the issue. This is according to a spokesperson for African Development Solutions in Washington D.C., who reached out to me personally.
Government officials are currently staging a series of meetings behind-closed-doors to discuss US remittances to Somalia after 12 congressmen and senators sent a letter to Secretary of State John Kerry on February 6 requesting an emergency response to Merchants Bank’s service closure.
Merchants Bank was servicing approximately two-thirds of small remittances companies sending money from Somali communities in the US to their families in the Horn of Africa before seizing early February. Groups like Oxfam and African Development Solutions, as well as the Somali government and Somali-American communities, see the move as a starter for a major humanitarian crisis.