Kenyans in Saudi Arabia sent home over Ksh.22 billion this year
The Central Bank of Kenya (CBK) has reported that Saudi Arabia is now the third largest source of remittances to the country despite the rising cases of domestic abuse of migrant workers emanating from the region.
According to data released on Wednesday, Saudi has doubled its remittances to Ksh.22.65 billion ($188.79 million) as the amount sent by Kenyans in living and working there within the first eight months of this year.
The Gulf nation which in the past months has hit headlines due to cases of torture, mistreatment and abuse of migrants, now comes third in revenue generation behind the United Kingdom (Ksh.25.4 billion) and the United States (Ksh.188.8 billion).
Statistics further reveal that more than 30 per cent of the total population of 35 million people in the Middle East country are migrants, mostly from the African and Asian continents.
In 2020, the country is said to have recorded Ksh.9.27 billion in remittances. It then grew by 144.35 per cent to Ksh.12.96 billion last year.
Future projections by CBK further indicate that remittances from the oil-rich nation will surpass those from the UK and US due to the fast growth.
Speaking on the issue during a Parliamentary induction meeting on Tuesday, Foreign Affairs Principal Secretary Macharia Kamau noted that more than 100,000 Kenyans are plying their trade in Saudi Arabia as non-domestic workers.
This he said while understating the fact that migrants were being abused, arguing that it was due to some workers being unsubmissive.
“We have millions of Kenyans in the diaspora. We have over $310 million a month coming from the diaspora. Our diaspora experience is an exciting and positive experience and it is very important that we never lose sight of this,” said Amb. Macharia then.
“The people who suffer terrible beatings and abuse are people who are of that category; house helps, But in that same country where we have over 100,000 Kenyans working in different capacities; in hotels, transport and taxis, we have no problem...so sometimes our people will not be so subservient when they go to these countries under contract.”
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