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Remittances in March increase to Sh31.2 billion

By Fredrick Obura | April 21st 2021
Central Bank of Kenya Headquarter in Nairobi (PHOTO: FILE)

NAIROBI, KENYA: Kenyans abroad sent more money back home last month compared to the same month last year, the latest data by the Central Bank of Kenya reveals.

Remittances in March 2021 amounted to Sh31.2 billion (US$290.8 million), compared to Sh24.5 billion (USD 228.8 million) in March 2020, an increase of 27.1 per cent.

The US remains the largest source of inflows, accounting for 55.9 per cent of remittances in March 2021. The other top source countries were the United Kingdom (11.2 per cent), Saudi Arabia (4.0 per cent), Canada (2.9 per cent), and Australia (2.9 per cent).  

Remittance inflows continue to provide a stable source of foreign exchange for Kenya and key support for many households, totaling US$3,094 million in 2020.

Since 2007, CBK publishes monthly data on remittances grouped into three broad regions; North America, Europe, and the Rest of the World. In addition to this broad grouping, CBK has now introduced a breakdown of the remittances by individual countries from which they were sent.

The importance of remittances has revealed a need for more information that would support policy decisions. In this regard, in collaboration with the Kenya National Bureau of Statistics and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, CBK has rolled out an anonymous online Kenya Diaspora Remittances Survey that is running from March 19 to May 17, 2021.

The survey focuses on the costs and efficiency of sending remittances, the difficulties encountered in sending cash or non-cash remittances, how remittances are used by the recipients, and the availability of information on investment opportunities in Kenya.

“This information will help guide policies intended to boost the role of remittances in supporting the economy and livelihoods. Kenyans living abroad are urged to participate in the survey.”

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