The only way that many people in Somalia survive is from money wired to them from relatives in Minnesota. That life line was cut when the US government pressured banks to stop accepting the wire transfers, fearing the money could be going to terrorist organizations. Now the Somali community is threatening to take its money out of those banks unless they allow wire transfers to famine areas in Somalia.
Saturday night, members of the Somali community and allied partners hosted a large-scale public meeting regarding the ongoing funds-transfer crisis. Elected officials, faith leaders and community members talked about the urgent need for a solution in order to alleviate hardship caused by the continued inability for Somali Americans to send money to their loved ones in the East African nation.
One organizer of the event told the Uptake that Minnesota Somalis will start taking their money out of Wells Fargo Bank on May 11th unless the bank agrees to help send money to Somalia. He says more than 1,000 people attended Saturday night’s event.