Promoting Inclusive Markets and Financial Systems
This study was designed to provide NRC programme staff with improved understanding of various cash transfer modalities to inform the design of humanitarian projects in Syria. Remittances, payments from family members outside Syria to support people inside Syria, were identified as a class of cash transfer with a likely high number of transactions to be studied, and with relatively low data sensitivity compared to transfers to organisations and businesses. This study sought to understand remittance flows into Syria, and established that various Informal Value Transfer Systems (IVTS) are used, to the exclusion of the formal banking sector. Registered and unregistered hawala, courier services and family connections are used. Remittances have played an increasingly important role in Syrians’ household income in the last ten years, although the data available is likely significantly to under-estimate the real volume.