Cost of living: Somali community struggles to send money abroad


By Osob Elmi, BBC

The cost of living crisis is leaving some communities struggling to send money back to families overseas, the BBC has found.

Some of Bristol’s Somali community have drastically reduced amounts they send to families in Somalia and Somaliland.

The US dollar is used in those countries and after the pound hit record lows against the dollar, it’s become more expensive to send money.

The Horn of Africa is currently facing one of its worst droughts on record.”Sending money to loved ones is a lifeline for some,” said a spokesperson for Dahabshiil, a money transfer agency.

Abdirashid Dule, its CEO, said: “We, Dahabshiil, as a licensed remittance company, have seen both senders and receivers are being affected by the cost of living crisis.

“The plummeting value of the pound, for example. In spite of all these challenges, we can see families are helping each other no matter what.”

Raqiya Ismail
Image caption,Raqiya Hudoon is a mother of children who regular sends money to her children in Somaliland and she says working 11 hours a day is not enough

Raqiya Hudoon, 45 and from Bristol, has been a domestic worker at Southmead hospital for the last 17 years.

Some of her children are in Somaliland, where she sends money every month, but has had to reduce what she pays from £1,500 to £1,200.

Farhan's mother, sister and aunties in Hargeisa, Somaliland
Image caption,Farhan’s family in Hargeisa, Somaliland have been receiving less money

Despite that Yassin Abdi, an agent for Dahabshiil in Bristol, says customers have been “sending money as usual.”

“Although the living cost has gone up, you still have to pay your bills, you still have to pay for your food,” he said.

Yassin Abdi
Image caption,Yassin Abdi has been an agent at Dahabshiil money remittance for 20 years

“Transferring money back home is one of the necessities, people need to support their families and loved ones,” Mr Abdi said.

“The customer has to pay more, before sending a $100 would be £80, but now for a $100 you are sending £103.

“Our main customers are from the places affected by the drought, so they are having to send more to support this extra cause.”


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