NAIROBI, Kenya, Jul 27-Kenyans living abroad sent home Sh31.1 billion during the month of June, a 12 percent rise compared to Sh27.8 billion that was dispatched in May.
The cumulative inflows in the 12 months were higher, standing at Sh302.4 billion compared to Sh291.6 billion that was recorded in a similar period last year.
Data from the Central Bank of Kenya reveals that South Africa was amongst the top contributors to the diaspora remittances despite it being amongst the top countries in Africa that has continued to register alarming numbers of related coronavirus cases and deaths.
“Inflows from the US, South Africa and Saudi Arabia recorded the highest increases,” reads CBK weekly bulletin.
This is currently the second-highest monthly receivables in 24 months since June 2018 after a high of almost Sh300 billion July last year.
However, inflows from North America saw its share of total remittances to 56.5 percent of the Sh27.78 billion sent to Kenya in May.
The report comes at a time when World Bank had warned that global remittances were projected to decline sharply by about 20 per cent this year due to the economic crisis induced by the virus.
The projected decline has been linked to loss of wages as many workers in foreign countries have been laid off or put on unpaid leave, with many source countries imposing total lockdowns.
Last year, Kenyans abroad sent Sh280 billion which was, a 3.7 percent rise compared to Sh269.7 billion dispatched in 2018.
Remittances in Kenya has become the biggest source of foreign exchange, with tourism, tea, coffee, and horticultural exports, following in second, third, fourth, and fifth position respectively.
At the same time, CBK reported that foreign exchange reserves were down to Sh1.01 trillion in the week that ended July 24 compared to Sh1.04 trillion the previous week at the current exchange rate, which could sustain 5.7 months of import.
“This meets the CBK’s statutory requirement to endeavor to maintain at least four months of import cover, and the EAC region’s convergence criteria of 4.5 months of import cover,” CBK said.