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Rural families stare at poverty as remittances decline

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By FAITH NYAMAI

Rural families are the most affected by the Covid 19 pandemic as remittances continue to decline globally.

International Fund for Agricultural Development (Ifad)) Senior Technical Specialist, Coordinator, Financing Facility for Remittances Pedro de Vasconcelos say the global economic situation could push rural families to even deeper poverty levels.

Globally majority of migrant workers are from low and middle income countries.

It is estimated that the world’s 200 million migrant workers send money regularly to 800 million family members to help them access food, health and education.

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Speaking in Rome, Italy during a question and answer reporting online session organized by the Thomson Reuters Foundation as part of a Covid-19 professional development programme run in association with Ifad, Mr Vascocelos asked governments globally to work together to ensure remittance flow does not fall drastically.

“I am calling on all governments to act fast and minimize the impact of the drop in remittances on food security of rural families,” said Mr Vascocelos.

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The overall flow of remittances globally is $500 billion.

“The pandemic has caused many migrants to lose their jobs making it difficult to send monies to their families,” he said.

Remittances in 2019 reached a record of $554 billion overtaking foreign direct investment flows to low and middle income countries.

The Covid-19 pandemic is expected to lead to a 20 percent decline in migrant remittance flow to the low and middle income countries.

According to the latest data from the Central Bank of Kenya (CBK) remittances dropped by Sh2.2 billion in April to Sh22.3 billion compared to Sh24.5 billion received in March in Kenya.

The report showed that remittance flow from united States and Canada remained largely unchanged from March while inflows from United Kingdom, Germany and South Africa, EAC region, United Arab Emirates and Saudi Arabia declined because of the negative impacts of Covid-19.

The pandemic is expected to disrupt economic activities around the world.

Mr Vascocelos said, governments must come up with innovative business solution to support families that depend on remittances.

He also said that the global community should promote fee reductions by developing products to enable migrant’s workers to transfer non-financial products through remittance services such as find, medicine, directly to their families.

Mr Vascocelos said Ifad is currently leading the UN sponsored Remittances Community Task Force which has over 35 stakeholders to different sectors to  a series of comprehensive and integrated recommendations.

He said digital remittance is becoming the most effective solutions that is bringing change to the global economy.

The global demand for digital remittance is expected to expand due to a growing need for easier, more reliable and quicker cross border monetary transactions.

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Kenya Airways to resume domestic flights from Wednesday – KBC

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Kenya Airways (KQ) will resume its domestic flights on Wednesday 15 July 2020, following the lifting of the restriction of movement in and out of Nairobi and Mombasa counties.

KBC Radio_KICD Timetable

Through a press statement, the national carrier said that it has been working closely with the Government through the Ministry of Health and Kenya Airports Authority (KAA) to implement a wide range of safety measures and protocols as they gear up for the resumption of passenger services.

The airline will fly two times daily to the coastal city of Mombasa and once daily to the lakeside city of Kisumu as it continues to review the option of increasing frequencies as demand picks.

KQ CEO Allan Kilavuka said that the airline’s utmost priority continues to be the health and safety of the passengers, crew, and staff.

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“I want to thank our customers for giving us the opportunity to serve them and for trusting us to get them to their different destinations safely. A special mention to our staff for their outstanding contribution in ensuring that our customers continue to be reunited with their loved ones across our network. As we prepare to operate under exceptional circumstances, we look forward to welcoming more of our guests onboard and we remain committed to offering world-class service with a delightful African touch” added Mr Kilavuka.

While onboard the aircraft, customers will be required to adhere to the safety measures and protocols in place.

The airline will continuously review the protocols in place and update these where necessary to continue being ahead of the curve when it comes to safety.

“I would like to assure the public that Kenya Airports Authority has put in place the recommended health and safety protocols and we are ready to reconnect with our airport’s users.” Alex Gitari, Ag. Managing Director, Kenya Airports Authority stated.

“These protocols will be evaluated and updated whenever necessary. Accordingly, we request passengers and airport users to familiarize themselves and strictly observe the new protocols to safeguard the health and safety of all airport users” he added.

The opening up of the country and resumption of domestic flights will contribute towards the recovery of Kenya’s economy, which is reeling from the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic.

“The resumption of domestic flights will add to the revival of domestic tourism that has recorded an all-time low. We will call upon Kenyans to take up opportunities to step out of their homes for a breath of fresh air and experiential get away from their homes” said Betty Radier, Chief Executive Officer – Kenya Tourism Board

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Wazito to go for younger players after kicking out under-performing big names – Nairobi News

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Wazito tycoon owner Ricardo Badoer has announced that the club has changed its transfer strategy and will be going for young talented players during this transfer window.

Badoer says he will no longer go for the big names as it were during the last transfer window but younger players who can propel the team to meet its target of bagging its maiden Kenyan Premier League title.

HUNGRY PLAYERS

“The plan is different now. We are looking to sign some good emerging players from other teams, these are young hungry players. We want players who want to play football for Wazito,” Badoer said on the club’s website.

“We are not going to sign high profile players this time around. There’s no point in signing big names that won’t deliver,” he added.

This comes after Wazito released 12 players last week citing under performance and the harsh effects of the deadly coronavirus.

Some of those released were players who made a name before joining the money bags more so during the January transfer window.

AXED PLAYERS

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Among the dropped players are Victor Ndinya, Teddy Osok, Derrick Otanga, Lloyd Wahome and goalkeepers Steve Njung’e and Kevin Omondi.

Non-Kenyan players Augustine Otu, Piscas Kirenge, Issioffu Bourahana and Paul Acquah were also axed while veteran striker Paul Kiongera left the club after negotiation to extend his contract which had ended in June hit a dead end.

British coach Stewart Hall also left the club on mutual consent after helping the club survive relegation.

Wazito are placed 13 on the KPL standings with 20 points after 23 rounds of matches as the league remains suspended due to coronavirus pandemic.

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Covid-19 cases in Kenya surpass 10,000 mark – Nairobi News

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Covid-19 cases in Kenya have surpassed the 10,000 mark after 379 more people tested positive in the last 24 hours.

According to a statement from the Ministry of Health sent to media houses on Sunday, the latest cases are from a sample size of 7,050.

MORE RECOVERIES

The cumulative numbers of tests conducted in the country stand at 215,037 and the total case load in the country now stands at 10,105.

From the latest positive cases, 376 are Kenyans while three are foreigners with 253 being males and 126 being female.

From those infected in the last 24 hours, the youngest is two years old while the oldest is 97 years.

Meanwhile, 49 people have been discharged from hospitals in the last 24 hours, bring the total number of recoveries in the country to 2,881 while the number of deaths stand at 185 after one more patient succumbed to the virus.

NAIROBI LEADING

The 379 cases have been distributed in the following counties, Nairobi (209), Kiambu (49), Busia (38), Migori (19), Mombasa (16) and Kajiado (12).

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There were also new cases recorded in Uasin Gishu (8), Lamu (6), Machakos and Nakuru (5 cases each), Narok, Wajir and Kisumu (2 cases each), and one case each in Garissa, Isiolo, Kericho , Nyamira, Nyeri and Trans-Nzoia counties.

The new cases in Nairobi were recorded in Kibra (52), Langa’ta (45), Kamukunji (28), Dagoretti North and Makadara (17 cases each), Embakasi Central (9), Embakasi East (8) and Westlands (7).

There were also four new cases in Dagoretti, Embakasi West, Kasarani and Roysambu 4 while Ruaraka and Embakasi South recorded two new cases each. One case was in Mathare and Starehe.

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