Remittances in Fragile Settings: a Somali Case Study


Year: 2007 HiCN Working Paper No. 027

Literature on conflict has largely overlooked migrants’ remittances, and literature on migrant’s remittances has largely avoided conflict settings. Using a micro- level approach, this paper explores how remittances have affected households coping with conflict and fragility in the Somali city of Hargeisa. Drawing on survey and ethnographic evidence, the paper highlights the transformed geography and diversified participation in remitting, and explores the uneven transnationalisation of family roles. It shows that remittances can help households to meet living expenses, cope with crises, and build livelihoods, although local constraints inhibit the latter. Circulating in the wider community through market relations and social networks, remittances shape Hargeisa’s political economy. The policy implications are explored.

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