One important gap in the literature on refugees’ and international migrants’ remittances concerns flows between developing countries. ‘South-South’ flows, particularly those to and from transit countries in the vicinity of conflict zones have not been researched. Transit countries are those that become way stations or stopping points in the journey from origin to intended destination countries. In the east of the African continent, Egypt and Kenya are countries of first asylum for Sudanese and Somalis, but also transit settings for refugees and other migrants seeking to migrate to Europe, North America or the Gulf. The migration flows originating from a particular conflict-affected country are mixed. They usually include groups and individuals fleeing, or having been displaced by, the conflict and who seek asylum or resettlement in third countries. They also encompass others in pursuit of work or family reunification also in third countries. These migrants can be ‘stuck’ in transit countries, often for years, while they try to gather the funds needed to proceed with their journeys; they may also be blocked by visa requirements or policy shifts.
In an attempt to fill this gap, the Center for Migration and Refugee Studies (CMRS) teamed up with the Feinstein International Center, (FIC) Tufts University to conduct a three year research project on Sudanese refugees and migrants in Cairo and their transnational linkages with other Sudanese both in the Diaspora and in Sudan. Egypt being a country of first asylum for the Sudanese, as mentioned above, Cairo was selected to undertake a case study on their transnational linkages. The project, funded by the International Development Research Center (IDRC) represents the second phase of an earlier study conducted by FIC on transnational linkages between the Darfuris in Maine, USA and their families in Darfur, Sudan.