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

Video Westgate Mall Attack Survivors Confront Painful Memories

On anniversary of terror attack, survivors discuss how they have coped with trauma they experienced that day More

Iraqi Kurdish Leader: Protect Syrian City

Islamic State fighters are besieging Kobani, also known as Ayn al-Arab, after seizing at least 21 surrounding villages in a major assault against city on Syria's northern border with Turkey More

Video Whaling Summit Votes to Uphold Ban on Japan Whale Hunt

Conservationists hail ruling as a victory, but Tokyo says it will submit revised plans for a whale hunt in 2015 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.
Migrants Caught in No-Man's Land Called Calaisi
X
Lisa Bryant
September 19, 2014 5:04 PM
The deaths of hundreds of migrants in the Mediterranean this week has only recast the spotlight on the perils of reaching Europe. And for those forunate enough to reach a place like Calais, France, only find that their problems aren't over. Lisa Bryant has the story.
Video

Video Migrants Caught in No-Man's Land Called Calais

The deaths of hundreds of migrants in the Mediterranean this week has only recast the spotlight on the perils of reaching Europe. And for those forunate enough to reach a place like Calais, France, only find that their problems aren't over. Lisa Bryant has the story.
Video

Video Westgate Siege Anniversary Brings Back Painful Memories

One year after it happened, the survivors of the terror attack on Nairobi's Westgate Shopping Mall still cannot shake the images of that tragic incident. For VOA, Mohammed Yusuf tells the story of victims still waiting for the answer to the question 'how could this happen?'
Video

Video Militant Assault in Syria Displaces Thousands of Kurds

A major assault by Islamic State militants on Kurds in Syria has sent a wave of new refugees to the Turkish border, where they were stopped by Turkish border security. Turkey is already hosting about 700,000 Syrian refugees who fled the civil war between the government and the opposition. But the government in Ankara has a history of strained relations with Turkey's Kurdish minority. Zlatica Hoke reports Turkey is asking for international help.
Video

Video CERN Accelerator Back in Business

The long upgrade of the Large Hadron Collider is over. The scientific instrument responsible for the discovery of the Higgs boson -- the so-called "God particle" -- is being brought up to speed in time for this month's 60th anniversary of the European Organization for Nuclear Research, known by its French acronym CERN. Physicists hope the accelerator will help them uncover more secrets about the origins of the universe. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video Whaling Summit Votes to Uphold Ban on Japan Whale Hunt

The International Whaling Commission, meeting in Slovenia, has voted to uphold a court ruling banning Japan from hunting whales in the Antarctic Ocean. Conservationists hailed the ruling as a victory, but Tokyo says it will submit revised plans for a whale hunt in 2015. Henry Ridgwell reports from London.
Video

Video Russian Economy Reeling After New Western Sanctions

A new wave of Western sanctions is hitting Russia’s economy hard. State-owned energy firms continue to bleed profits and Russia’s national currency plunged to a new low this week after the U.S. and the European Union announced new sanctions to punish Russia's aggressive stance in eastern Ukraine. But as Mil Arcega reports, the sanctions could also prove costly for European and American companies.
Video

Video Belgian Researchers Discover Way to Block Cancer Metastasis

Cancer remains one of the deadliest diseases, despite many new methods to combat it. Modern medicine has treatments to prevent the growth of primary tumor cells. But most cancer deaths are caused by metastasis, the stage when primary tumor cells change and move to other parts of the body. A team of Belgian scientists says it has found a way to prevent that process. Zlatica Hoke has more.
Video

Video Mogadishu's Flood of Foreign Workers Leaves Somalis Out of Work

Unemployment and conflict has forced many young Somalians out of the country in search of a better life. But a newfound stability in the once-lawless nation has created hope — and jobs — which, some say, are too often being filled by foreigners. Abdulaziz Billow reports from Mogadishu.
Video

Video A Dinosaur Fit for Land and Water

Residents and tourists in Washington D.C. can now examine a life-size replica of an unusual dinosaur that lived almost a hundred million years ago in northern Africa. Scientists say studying the behemoth named Spinosaurus helps them better understand how some prehistoric animals adapted to life on land and in water. The Spinosaurus replica is on display at the National Geographic museum. VOA’s George Putic has more.
Video

Video Iraqi Kurdistan Church Helps Christian Children Cope find shelter in churches in the Kurdish capital, Irbil

In the past six weeks, tens of thousands of Iraqi Christians have been forced to flee their homes by Islamic State militants and find shelter in churches in the Kurdish capital, Irbil. Despite U.S. airstrikes in the region, the prospect of people returning home is still very low and concerns are starting to grow over the impact this is having on the displaced youth. Sebastian Meyer reports from Irbil on how one church is coping.
Video

Video NASA Picks Boeing, SpaceX to Carry Astronauts Into Space

The U.S. space agency, NASA, has chosen Boeing and SpaceX companies to build the next generation of spacecraft that will carry U.S. astronauts to the International Space Station by the year 2017. The deal with private industry enables NASA to end its dependence on Russia to send space crews into low Earth orbit and back. Zlatica Hoke has more.
Video

Video Future of Ukrainian Former President's Estate Uncertain

More than six months after Ukraine's former President Viktor Yanukovych fled revolution to Russia, authorities have yet to gain control of his palatial estate. Protesters occupy the grounds and opened it to tourists but they are also refusing to turn it over to the state. VOA's Daniel Schearf reports from Mezhigirya, just north of Kyiv.


Carnage and mayhem are part of daily life in northern Nigeria, the result of a terror campaign by the Islamist group Boko Haram. Fears are growing that Nigeria’s government may not know how to counter it, and may be making things worse. More

AppleAndroid