Growing diaspora cash transfers flowing to a few pockets in Kenya

Kenyans have continued to get support from abroad receiving over Sh333 billion per year but the inflows are going to a very small number of households.

Kenyans living and working abroad sent home Sh122.69 billion ($1.13 billion) in the four months to April, 23.3 per cent above the Sh93.37 billion that was received in a similar period last year.

The World Bank study on coping mechanisms by Kenyan households during the Covid-19 pandemic showed that only 7 per cent received cash from the diaspora community

“Only a small share of households received remittances (7 per cent) in January–March 2021. The remittance amount was larger for around half of the households that received remittances compared to pre-COVID-19 amounts. However, one-quarter received smaller amounts, which may have consequences for household welfare,” the report read.

Read also: Kenyans sleep hungry, burn through savings to survive Covid woes

Support from outside the household can help the Kenyan population meet their needs during the pandemic.

However, few households have received support from outside their household since the start of the pandemic.

Very few households received government (3 per cent), or NGO assistance as households are largely relying on savings and reducing consumption of food and non-food items in the face of job cuts or even sleeping on an empty stomach.

An increasing number of households are also looking for side hustles.

Very few are getting assistance from families and friends or accessing loans as lenders shun borrowers over fears of defaults.

Also a very small percentage are selling assets to survive which may indicate that there are no buyers especially as witnessed in auction markets where repossessed goods are not getting takers.

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