STORY: SOMALIA REMITTANCE TRT: 03:31 SOURCE: AU/UN IST RESTRICTIONS: This media asset is free for editorial broadcast, print

, online and radio use. It is not to be sold on and is restricted for other purposes. All enquiries to news@auunist.org CREDIT REQUIRED: AU/UN IST LANGUAGE: SOMALIA/ENGLISH/ NATS DATELINE: 23 OCTOBER 2013, MOGADISHU/ SOMALIA SHOTLIST: 1. Wide shot, streets of Mogadishu with billboards 2. Close up, sign showing dollar bills and “3 Minute Service” 3. Med shot, signs showing Dahabshiil money transfer 4. Wide shot, billboards on the streets advertising money transfers 5. Close up, sign showing a sack of cash and dollar bills 6. Wide shot, people on the streets 7. Med shot, people walking on the streets 8. Wide shot, Mohamed Mohamud inside his clothing and cosmetic shop 9. Med shot, shopkeeper climbing up a ladder to reach is stock 10. Med shot, Mohamed on the ladders taking stock 11. Close up, Mohamed climbing down the ladder 12. SOUNDBITE (Somali), Mohammed Mahamud, Shopkeeper: “Dahabshiil helps us in many ways, for me to buy goods and commodities from Dubai I have to put my money in a bank account, Dahabshiil allows us to have a bank account. Dahabshiil helps us a lot.” 13. Close up, screen with CCTV video of shop 14. Med shot, pan down of Shopkeeper attending to customers 15. Close up, shopkeeper attending to customers 16. Med shot, Mohammed Mahamud showing shoppers his items 17.Wide shot, Mogadishu city streets 18. Close up, Dahabshiil billboard 19. Med shot, people walking on the streets 20. Close up, money exchanger counting Somali money 21. Med shot, money exchanger counting money 22. Wide shot, money exchanger at his stall 23. Close up, bundles of Somali money 24. Close up, money with central bank Somalia written on it 25. SOUNDBITE (Somali), Ahmed Shariff, Somali resident: “I feel bad Dahabshiil Shouldn’t be closed down, because a lot of people’s livelihood depend on it, they don’t have anything and they

are dying of hunger, and what people send is very little money and it’s not worth much in Mogadishu. When relatives send little money like $20, $25 and $50 they use it for coffee, if they were to stop that little money for coffee then Somali’s will suffer.” 26. SOUNDBITE (Somali), Qarad Bahi Noor, Somali resident: “Its in within the interest of the Somali community is that Dahabshiil should not to be closed, Why? Because for example they send a mother who might a have a child who’s blind, deaf or disabled money through Dahabshiil, which is picked up for her and taken to her house which otherwise she wouldn’t have received it any other way.” 27. SOUNDBITE (Somali), Naema Mahamud, Somali Diaspora: “They can not stop sending money. People in Europe, North America and Australia, everybody is supporting their family, minimum they are sending is 100 dollars, 500 dollars, some people say they are supporting Al shabaab or Al-Qaeda but not everybody is doing that, we are supporting our families and we send money every month.” 28. Med shot, pan up of shop keeper putting items in a bag 29. Wide shot, Naema leaving with her goods STORY: Millions of people in the Horn of Africa nation Somalia rely on money sent from their relatives and friends abroad in order to survive. These remittances have been the lifeline for many in a country that is struggling to recover from its failed state status after two decades of civil war and conflict. But it is feared that a decision by Barclays Bank to close the accounts of some of the biggest Somali money transfer firms, will have a devastating effect on the country and its people. Mohammed Mahamud started small when he moved back from South Africa and setup his clothing and cosmetics shop in the capital Mogadishu. Over a few months he has been able to expand and increase his business thanks to his family members who use money transfer firms to send money every month to invest in his business. “Dahabshiil helps us in many ways, for me to buy goods and commodities from Dubai I have to put my money in a bank account, Dahabshiil allows us to have a bank account. Dahabshiil helps us a lot.” Says Mohamed. Across the capital new businesses, hotels and restaurants have sprouted in almost every corner of the city; financially, as a result of

monies being sent back to Somalia from the Diaspora, but in large part, following the relative peace that now prevails in Mogadishu after the al Shabaab extremist group were forced out of the city and other urban towns by the Somali National Army (SNA) backed by forces of the African Union Mission in Somalia (AMISOM). The country now has an elected president and an internationally recognised government that is working to rebuild systems and provide services that were non-existent for over two decades since the collapse of the Siad Barre regime in 1991. It was during this long period of chaos, with no formal institutions to send and receive money, that Somalia's money transfer firms emerged as a lifeline for many in the country. According to the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) an estimated $1.6 billion US dollars is sent back annually by Somalis living in Europe and North America. NGOs also working in the country have had to rely on the same transfer companies to send money to run their programs on the ground in Somalia. The bank says it's decisions to close the accounts of the approx. 250 money transfer businesses worldwide, including that of the Somalia's biggest transfer company Dahabshiil, is over concerns of money laundering and the potential heavy fines Barclays could face. Dahabshiil has sought an injunction to stop Barclays bank from shutting it down and a verdict from the high court is expected within days. Some money transfer companies in Somalia have been accused of being used by pirates to launder money received form ransoms as well as used by Al Qaeda-affiliated extremist group al Shabaab group to fund their terrorist activities and operations in Somalia and the wider East African region. “I feel bad Dahabshiil Shouldn’t be closed down, because a lot of people’s livelihood depend on it, they don’t have anything and they are dying of hunger, and what people send is very little money and it’s not worth much in Mogadishu.” Says Ahmed Shariff, Somali resident. “When relatives send little money like $20, $25 and $50 they use it for coffee, if they were to stop that little money for coffee then Somali’s will suffer.” Qarad Bahi Noor another resident adds, “Its in within the interest of the Somali community is that Dahabshiil should not to be closed, Why? Because for example they send a mother who might a have a child who’s blind, deaf or disabled money through Dahabshiil, which is picked up for her and taken to her house which otherwise she wouldn’t have received it any other way.”

Naema Mahamud has just returned from Canada where she had been staying for over 20 years. She regularly sends money home to support her family and relative in the country. “They can not stop sending money. People in Europe, North America and Australia, everybody is supporting their family, minimum they are sending is 100 dollars, 500 dollars, some people say they are supporting Al shabaab or Al-Qaeda but not everybody is doing that, we are supporting our families and we send money every month.” Says Naema. Emerging from the war and chaos of the last 20 years, Somalia stands to be the most affected if Barclays' decision comes into effect. Its fledgling government still has a long way to go in providing basic services for its people and re-building structures and institutions destroyed by the years of fighting. In a recent statement, Somali President Hassan Sheikh Mohamud said that this is not the time to punish Somalis again by closing the legitimate lifeline on which millions of Somalis depend. He said innocent millions should not be made to suffer because of the crimes of the guilty few. To deal with the fall out that Barclays' move will have, the UK government and its Department for International Development (DfID) are working on a pilot project to help develop secure channels to send money between the UK and Somalia. DfID will work with the World Bank to develop mechanisms to audit and train money transfer operators in Somalia over the next 12 months. The US, Australia and other European countries have already shutdown the accounts of several money transfer businesses since 2011. ENDS.

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