Do remittances play an important role in the financing of long-term care? | Kenya Do remittances play an important role in the financing of long-term care? | Kenya

31 Mar 2022

Remittances in Kenya constituted 2.5% of GDP in 2015. They increased from US $934 million in 2011 to US $1.73 billion in 2016 and at an average of 14.3% in the past one decade (Misati et al., 2018). According to household surveys conducted in Burkina Faso, Kenya, Nigeria, Senegal, and Uganda in 2009 as part of the Africa Migration Project, households in Kenya devoted 7.3%, 5.8%, and 7.0% of outside Africa, intra-Africa, and intraregional remittances to health respectively. Regionally, food was the highest while health was the fifth highest in terms of remittances. Remittances may improve health outcomes through purchase of more food and access to health care, by increasing awareness on proper diet (Mohapatra & Ratha, 2011).  Even though there is no data showing the amount of remittances spent on LTC, it is assumed that the services provided through such remittances cover all life cohorts since some of the factors that motivate sending of remittances include (Jena, 2016):

  1. The need to assist parents in old age
  2. Financing younger siblings
  3. Inheritance motives
  4. Cultural norms and expectations

Jena, F. (2016). The remittance behaviour of Kenyan sibling migrants. IZA Journal of Migration, 5(1), 11. https://doi.org/10.1186/s40176-016-0059-x

Misati, R. N., Kamau, A., & Nassir, H. (2018). Do migrant remittances matter for financial development in Kenya? (WPS/08/18). Financial Innovation. Springer. https://doi.org/10.1186/s40854-019-0142-4

Mohapatra, S., & Ratha, D. (2011). Remittance markets in Africa. The World Bank. The World Bank. Washington D.C. https://openknowledge.worldbank.org/bitstream/handle/10986/2292/613100PUB0mark158344B09780821384756.pdf?sequence=1&isAllowed=y