News / Africa

South Sudan Money Transfer Services Hit by Crisis

Six months of fighting in South Sudan is impacting money transfer services, business operators say.
Six months of fighting in South Sudan is impacting money transfer services, business operators say.
The crisis in South Sudan has not only created a humanitarian disaster that has displaced more than one million people, separated children from their families and left nearly four million people facing alarming hunger, it's also hitting the national and local economies hard.

Oil production, the lifeblood of South Sudan's economy, is down by around 30 percent, according to international reports. The cholera outbreak in Juba, which the World Health Organization (WHO) has tied to the six-month-old conflict in the country, has forced many food vendors and tea sellers in Juba to shut up shop, as people shun food prepared outdoors and health officials step up hygiene inspections.

Residents of towns like Torit, in the south of the country, have said that even though they have not been hit directly by the violence, they have felt its bite, with food, fuel and even mobile telephone airtime in short supply.

'This year is not going well'


Now, another business is being hit: money transfer companies.
 
The manager of Eden Money Transfer in Wau, Christopher Tabu Enok, told South Sudan in Focus that  business has dropped by 30 percent since the beginning of the year. He blamed the conflict that broke out in mid-December, and the fact that civil servants in Western Bahr El Ghazal state have not receive their salaries since May, for the slump in business.

Eden Money Transfer depends on salary remittances from government employees for its survival.

"There is no salary in the community, then this is affecting our business concerning sending and receiving," Enok said.

"That is why...  this year is not going well," he said.
  
Eden sister offices in Bor, Bentiu and Malakal -- the capitals respectively of Jonglei, Unity and Upper Nile, the three states hardest hit by the fighting -- closed down after thousands of civilians took refuge at U.N. compounds, Enok said.

But he remains hopeful that business will pick up soon, especially now that President Salva Kiir and opposition leader Riek Machar have signed an agreement to respect a ceasefire deal and set up a transitional government.

Jane Elario came to Eden to receive money to buy medication and pay school fees for her children. The money was sent to Wau from Juba by her husband, who works in the capital. Elario has been waiting for it for more than two months.
 
‘’When this money is sent, I use it for my kids. Sometime when it is delayed, we really suffer with my children," she said.
 
Peter Wien Akej,  who is from Bor, fled Jonglei state with his wife and two kids and resettled in Wau to try to start a new life. He has struggled to find a job and this week came to Warthok Money Transfer to pick up some money that his brother sent from Yambio.

The 100 South Sudanese pounds his brother sent won't go far, though. It will be all gone once Akej has bought food and malaria medicine, he said.

At the Gai foreign exchange bureau in Wau, manager Andrea N'gor highlights another problem: it's hard to find foreign currency like the euro, U.S. dollar or British pound in local banks. 

"We don’t have dollars because the central bank in Wau doesn’t have them," N'gor said.
 
"We are supposed to have it so that we can help our citizens in the state," he said.

The Gai bureau de change has simply stopped doing foreign exchange.

According to the U.S. State Department, South Sudan has around 19 banks and about 70 foreign exchange bureaus. Prior to the conflict, the largest four banks and foreign exchange bureaus held around 70 percent of all assets.

Before the crisis, money transfer companies were gaining in popularity in South Sudan, because they made sending and receiving remittances faster and do not charge the same high transfer fees as banks.

You May Like

Unpaid Kurdish Fighters Sign of Economic Woes

Sharp cuts in Kurdistan's budget by Baghdad, falling oil revenue, coping with refugees, inflated public sector have hit regional economy hard More

Koreas Exchange List of Envoys for Family Reunion Talks

Officials will discuss date, venue and number of participants for reunion; Seoul hopes to hold event late this month More

China Targets 197 in Online Speech Crackdown

Nearly 200 punished for 'spreading rumors' online in ongoing crackdown on free speech More

This forum has been closed.
Comment Sorting
Comments
     
by: Anoko Abraham from: Kampala,Uganda
June 17, 2014 9:12 AM
We are also facing a seriouse challenge over here,,i came over to kampala since January this year but i have so far received only once due to lack of foreign exchange especially Dollars in the country,,,this crisis has affect every thing S.Sudan owns internally and externally..

by: Jeffrey Ngueny Deng from: Akobo,South Sudan
June 16, 2014 2:13 AM
Am thinking over how Museveni feel when South Sudan money hit by Crisis which is use to refuelled through his dictatorial detendences,i whish museveni will regret before half time .
We HOPE the new Regime will the economy better with no corruption.

by: Bol from: Bor
June 15, 2014 7:19 AM
The US of ol A wants to squeeze its Wall street/banking scams into South Sudan's disaster it helps create?! Here we go!

But the US knows that, its evil games are all under South Sudanese people microscope. The US will try every evil intrigue it possibly can to make South Sudan its another corporate *client* state; but South Sudanese people are fast learners though.

Now that the South Sudanese people wanted resolved their problems and criminals and evils that make their lives on others want to create another avenue so that they can thrive in between the mess in South Sudan.

But the criminals will be sourly disappointed.


by: Lisa from: Tx
June 14, 2014 12:37 PM
South Sudan, having shortage of money, we should not be suprise this started with the south sudanese government, the looting of money start from the minsters, look at the office of defense and army, Education, health, etc this looting started from top under the watchful eyes of presendent, then pretended to blem riek , Mrs garang,deng alor and some people within mostly some of this guys never give Adamm about kiirs government.

by: gatwich luk from: juba
June 14, 2014 5:34 AM
I think the issue of money transfer services is one of the major cooruptions cases in south sudan,it shouldn't be used by our people as part of the crises .itis cooruption which was there before .because most of the transfer services are for those who are working with government.so they should keep silent not to connect it with the current. crises.

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Calais School Offers Another Face of Europe’s Migrant Crisisi
X
Lisa Bryant
September 02, 2015 6:19 PM
Europe is facing mounting criticism over how it’s handling its biggest migration crisis since World War II. But not all Europeans believe building walls or passing repressive policies are the answer. A school for migrants in the French port city of Calais, is opening doors and building bonds across nationalities. VOA's Lisa Bryant reports.
Video

Video Calais School Offers Another Face of Europe’s Migrant Crisis

Europe is facing mounting criticism over how it’s handling its biggest migration crisis since World War II. But not all Europeans believe building walls or passing repressive policies are the answer. A school for migrants in the French port city of Calais, is opening doors and building bonds across nationalities. VOA's Lisa Bryant reports.
Video

Video Russia-Japan Relations Cool as Putin Visits China for WWII Anniversary

Russian President Vladimir Putin is in Beijing for commemorations of the 70th anniversary of China's WWII victory over Japan. Putin is expected to visit Japan later this year, but tensions between Tokyo and Moscow over islands disputed since the war, and sanctions over Ukraine, could pour cold water on the plan. VOA's Daniel Schearf reports.
Video

Video Kurdish Fighters on IS Frontline Ready for Offensive

Finger on the trigger, the Kurdish Peshmerga soldier stared across the dust at a village taken over by Islamic State extremists. The Kurdistan’s Khazir frontline, just 45 minutes from the Islamic State stronghold of Mosul. And at this point, the militants were less than two kilometers away. VOA's Sharon Behn reports.
Video

Video Yemen ‘on Brink of Disaster’ as Medical Shortages Soar

Aid agencies warn Yemen is on the brink of humanitarian disaster – with up to half a million children facing severe malnutrition, and hospitals running out of basic medicines. There are fears Yemen's civil war could escalate as the coalition led by Saudi Arabia tries to drive back Houthi rebels, who seized control of much of the country earlier this year. Henry Ridgwell reports.
Video

Video Apps Helping Kenyan Businesses Stay Ahead of Counterfeiters

Counterfeit goods in Kenya cost the government as much as $1 billion each year in lost tax revenues. The fake goods also hurt entrepreneurs who find it hard to carve out a niche in the market and retain customers. But as Lenny Ruvaga reports from Nairobi, information technology is being used to try to beat the problem.
Video

Video Nobel Prize Winner Malala Talks to VOA

Nobel Peace Prize winner Malala Yousafzai met with VOA's Deewa service in Washington Sunday to talk about women’s rights and unveil a trailer for her new documentary. VOA's Katherine Gypson has more.
Video

Video War, Drought Threaten Iraq's Marshlands

Iraq's southern wetlands are in crisis. These areas are the spawning ground for Gulf fisheries, a resting place for migrating wildfowl, and source of livelihood for fishermen and herders. Faith Lapidus has more.
Video

Video Colombians Flee Venezuela as Border Crisis Escalates

Hundreds of Colombians have fled Venezuela since last week, amid an escalating border crisis between the two countries. Last week, Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro ordered the closure of a key border crossing after smugglers injured three Venezuelan soldiers and a civilian. The president also ordered the deportation of Colombians who are in Venezuela illegally. Zlatica Hoke reports.
Video

Video Rebuilding New Orleans' Music Scene

Ten years after Hurricane Katrina inundated New Orleans, threatening to wash away its vibrant musical heritage along with its neighborhoods, the beat goes on. As Bronwyn Benito and Faith Lapidus report, a Musicians' Village is preserving the city's unique sound.
Video

Video In Russia, Auto Industry in Tailspin

Industry insiders say country relies too heavily on imports as inflation cuts too many consumers out of the market. Daniel Schearf has more from Moscow.
Video

Video Scientist Calls Use of Fetal Tissue in Medical Research Essential

An anti-abortion group responsible for secret recordings of workers at a women's health care organization claims the workers shown are offering baby parts for sale, a charge the organization strongly denies. While the selling of fetal tissue is against the law in the United States, abortion and the use of donated fetal tissue for medical research are both legal. VOA’s Julie Taboh reports.
Video

Video Next to Iran, Climate at Forefront of Obama Agenda

President Barack Obama this week announced new initiatives aimed at making it easier for Americans to access renewable energy sources such as solar and wind. Obama is not slowing down when it comes to pushing through climate change measures, an issue he says is the greatest threat to the country’s national security. VOA correspondent Aru Pande has more from the White House.
Video

Video Arctic Draws International Competition for Oil

A new geopolitical “Great Game” is underway in earth’s northernmost region, the Arctic, where Russia has claimed a large area for resource development and President Barack Obama recently approved Shell Oil Company’s test-drilling project in an area under U.S. control. Greg Flakus reports.
Video

Video Philippine Maritime Police: Chinese Fishermen a Threat to Country’s Security

China and the Philippines both claim maritime rights in the South China Sea.  That includes the right to fish in those waters. Jason Strother reports on how the Philippines is catching Chinese nationals it says are illegal poachers. He has the story from Palawan province.
Video

Video China's Spratly Island Building Said to Light Up the Night 'Like A City'

Southeast Asian countries claim China has illegally seized territory in the Spratly islands. It is especially a concern for a Philippine mayor who says Beijing is occupying parts of his municipality. Jason Strother reports from the capital of Palawan province, Puerto Princesa.

VOA Blogs