Kenya’s diaspora remittances inflows rose in March to $290.8 million (KSh31.15 billion) representing a 27.1 per cent increase compared to a similar period last year.
The growth surpassed February‘s inflows of $260.2 million (KSh28.6 billion) to the country.
Central Bank of Kenya reiterated that remittance inflows continue to provide a stable source of foreign exchange for Kenya and key support for many households, totalling $3.09 billion (KSh330.6 billion) in 2020.
Moreover, the US remains the largest source of these inflows, accounting for 55.9 per cent of remittances in March 2021.
Kenyans in the North American region sent home $177.4 million last month compared to $160.8 million in February.
The other top source countries were: UK (11.2 per cent), Saudi Arabia (four per cent), Canada (2.9 per cent), and Australia (2.9 per cent).
“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 regulator said.
Diaspora remittances are part of Kenya’s largest foreign exchange earner, largely contributing to the country’s forex reserves aimed at stabilising the shilling.
On Friday, CBK said that the usable foreign exchange reserves remained adequate at $7.66 billion (4.71 months of import cover) compared to $7.4 billion or 4.56 months of import cover the previous week.
”The Kenya shilling strengthened against major international and regional currencies during the week ending April 15, on the back of strong forex inflows,” CBK said.
This was also largely attributed to the first disbursement of KSh33 billion of KSh255 billion from the International Monetary Fund.