April 14

In Africa, COVID-19 Crisis Puts Squeeze on Millions Who Rely on Remittances

By Mohammed Yusuf

When the coronavirus began hitting Western economies, it hurt the economies of African countries, too – not only because of a loss in trade and tourism, but also due to a loss in remittances.

Hundreds of thousands of African families depend on money sent home by relatives working in North America, Europe and elsewhere. The safety net for millions of people is now threatened, and some families fear for the worst.

Fatuma Salah is a Somali national living at the Dadaab refugee camp in Kenya. The mother of six says she closely monitors any message that comes to her phone.

“Each time I receive a message alert, I think it’s a money transfer to my account, but it’s not. I was expecting to receive money from my family, it’s the 10th day of the month. I haven’t received anything yet,” she said.

Salah depends financially on her mother and brother who live in the United States. But both have lost their jobs and are staying indoors due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Photo courtesy of jbdodane.

Source: Voice of America (link opens in a new window)

Coronavirus, Finance
fintech, remittances