Oxfam MN Action Corps was honored to be a part of the roundtable discussion for the importance of Somali remittances held May 12th at the Safari Restaurant in Minneapolis. The event was hosted by African Development Solutions (Adeso) and featured speakers Rep. Keith Ellison (D-MN-5), Compliance Officer at Kaah Express Aden S Hassan, Kristin Toretta from the U.S. Department of Treasury, and Oscar-nominated actor Barkhad Abdi. It was an informative and engaging event that had the more than 150 community members in attendance pledging support to fight back the reductions in remittance services from banks, and to strengthen United States-Somalia relationships that will contribute to Somalia’s development and stability. This is demonstrated in Representative Ellison’s bill H.R 1694 Money Remittances Improvement Act of 2013 which has been introduced the House of Representatives. There is promising support for this bill that will help many Somali families in Somalia and right here in Minnesota.
We know this for we talked and listened to many Somali-Americans that are directly benefitted by the remittances, and consequently directly affected by policies that many banks have taken to not provide this lifeline for the fear repercussions of anti-terrorist laws.
This is an issue Oxfam America and Adeso have been working on for quite some time and it was great to see how it has brought people together to make us all aware of the hardships Somali-Americans are facing with this challenge.
For more information see Oxfam America.