High cost of remitting money affects Kenyan diaspora residents’ ability to support loved ones

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The high cost of remitting money has significantly impacted the amount of funds that Kenyan diaspora residents send back home.Many have been forced to limit their financial support to immediate family only, and this trend is likely to continue until the cost of remitting money decreases. The report emphasized the resilience and determination of economic migrants to financially support their loved ones, despite facing financial difficulties.

Kenyan diaspora residents have either reduced or cut the amounts of money they send back home due to the high cost of remitting funds, according to a report from WorldRemit, a global digital remittance company.

The report’s findings also highlight the importance of remittances for many families around the world, who rely on the support of friends and relatives abroad to make ends meet.

According to the report, many have been forced to limit their financial support to immediate family only, and this trend is likely to continue until the cost of remitting money decreases. The report noted that 82% of respondents agree that the cost of remitting money has increased significantly, leaving 45% to only send money to immediate family rather than to friends and distant relatives.

READ ALSO: 10 African countries that receive the highest remittance inflows, according to latest stats

The report also noted that globally, one in nine people rely on money sent from friends and relatives who have migrated abroad for work. The study, which was conducted in October 2022 and surveyed 2,687 respondents, aimed to assess the impact of the increased cost of living on international money senders.

East Africa Regional Manager for WorldRemit Ivan Kanyali commented on the resilience and commitment of migrants to financially supporting loved ones overseas, despite the economic challenges they face.

He says, “The inventive solutions, such as side hustles, that we are seeing as a result of the current economic landscape point to the resilience of migrants and their commitment to financially supporting loved ones overseas.”

“These findings demonstrate the grit of economic migrants in adapting to wider financial stresses and the rising cost of living while still meeting the needs of their families at home and abroad,” he added.

In addition to the negative impact on Kenyan diaspora residents’ ability to support their loved ones, the high cost of remitting money has also led to a trend of taking on side hustles in order to support an increased cost of living.

This was reported by a significant percentage of respondents in the US, UK, and Australia, with 89% of those with a side hustle indicating that they would continue to maintain it in the coming year.

The report also found that many respondents were cutting back on discretionary spending to save money, with 26% reporting that they were curtailing entertainment expenses such as dining out or going to the cinema.