U.S. Senators Amy Klobuchar and Al Franken and U.S. Representative Keith Ellison today welcomed Minnesota-based U.S. Bank's decision to open an account allowing Somali-Americans in Minnesota to send money to their loved ones in Somalia. Somali-Americans in recent years have experienced significant difficulties transferring money home to Somalia. The problems became more difficult as fewer and fewer institutions processed these remittances and the famine of 2011 hit, costing tens of thousands of lives.
"I am thrilled that Minnesota's US Bank will offer a vital lifeline to Somali-Americans and their families by allowing them to send money home," Rep. Ellison said. "For years, families in Minnesota have had trouble sending much-needed assistance to their relatives outside the country. After suffering from drought and famine, these remittances were often the difference between life and death for Somalis. I will continue working with my colleagues in Congress to find a permanent solution to allow Somalis to send money home to their families."
"Somali-Americans in Minnesota are often a lifeline for their families in Somalia," Klobuchar said. "This decision by US Bank is good news for the Somali community and will allow them to send vital assistance to their loved ones."
"I am very pleased that US Bank will begin working again with Somali-Americans in Minnesota to transfer money to their loved ones in Somalia," said. Sen. Franken. "The ability to send money to family members is critical to the well-being of loved ones in Somalia who have faced very difficult economic times due to the famine and political instability in that country. The Somali community in Minnesota has faced great uncertainty and hardship over the last couple of years because of the challenge of finding banks to work with them, and I have devoted a lot of time to trying to make sure there are legal and transparent channels for Somalis to send money to their loved ones. It's my hope that, especially with conditions improving in Somalia, banks will expand the channels for Somali-Americans in Minnesota to do that."