The Ukraine-Russia Conflict and the Rising Cost of Living in Kenya

Tulix App Team

Photo by Nicola Barts from Pexels

Get on Twitter any time of the day and you’re guaranteed a tweet on the rising cost of living in Kenya.

think of the scariest movie you know. it's the exponential spike in cost of living in KE, isn't it?

It definitely is.

It started with very steep fuel prices that included early morning drives to the petrol station followed by hour-long queues.

Although fuel prices remain high, now Kenyans have to contend with skyrocketing food prices and the hamster wheel just doesn’t seem to be slowing down.

But where did all this start? The war in Ukraine—it’s much closer than you think.

Sub-Saharan Africa imports 85% of its wheat supply, almost one-third (28%) of which comes from Ukraine and Russia.

Thus,"A War in a Pandemic" by the World Bank confirms that Africa is the developing region most likely to experience massive side effects from the Russian invasion of Ukraine.

How so? Farmers in Sub-Saharan Africa in particular are highly exposed to unstable prices in wheat, maize and edible oils and this ultimately affects the end consumer.

If you’re getting flashbacks of your last shopping bill then you’re already feeling the pinch. The same amount that would normally get you ten items now only covers about five.

The prices of indispensable staples like bread, milk, maize flour and cooking oil are now the butt of every joke and highlight of every conversation.

Kenyans are really going through it and it shows.

Remittances Save the Day

Remittances tend to be the first form of financial support people turn to during a crisis and the pandemic demonstrated the power of solving mutual global problems in solidarity.

In fact, remittance inflows to sub-Saharan Africa soared by about 14% to $49 billion, superseding the 8% drop recorded in the pandemic year of 2020—and representing the strongest gain since 2018.

At a national level, Kenyans living in the diaspora sent KES 6.75 billion weekly in 2020 and increased this to KES 8.11 billion every week in 2021.

What could be the reason for these higher numbers? Better conditions in source countries and altruistic motivations among African migrants.

Job prospects improved as Covid-19 eased in the US and in Europe, allowing African migrants to increase remittances to home countries still facing the consequences of the pandemic. This trend is expected to continue due to rising food inflation caused by the war.

Since remittances are a source of financial aid during disasters, digital payment applications play a huge role in ensuring the continued flow of money.

Not just any digital app but a fast, secure and convenient one like Tulix which is built in Kenya for Kenyans across the world.

We know many Kenyans living abroad find it challenging to transparently send money back home in a way which gives them control over how and where the money is spent. They also often deal with delays, slow processes and analogue means.

Tulix is a new, smart way for Kenyans in the diaspora to instantly share money home without losing control over how and where money is used.

Learn more about the app here.

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