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Do you send money home to East Africa?

Remittances save lives.

The money you send puts food on the table. Pays to treat loved ones who are sick. Sends kids to school.

This support is happening on a huge scale. 1 in 9 people around the world are supported by money that is sent to them by family or friends living in other countries. And in the UK, diaspora communities sent an estimated $10.1 billion in remittance in 2022. This is more than the entire UK foreign aid budget.

In East Africa, children and families are right now experiencing a hunger crisis driven by severe drought and increased food prices.

The money you send is a lifeline - but the cost to remit is too high.

Fees for transferring money typically range from 7-5% of the amount you send. During a cost-of-living crisis in the UK, this fee is an additional barrier for families who want to support their loved ones overseas. This limits the flow of remittances from the UK - meaning that less money reaches those who need it the most.

In 2015, the UN introduced a Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) to reduce remittance costs to less than 3% by 2030. But there has been little progress made since then. If transfer fees were dropped to 3%, Save the Children UK estimates that $45.7 million could be saved in money transfers from the UK to Somalia, Ethiopia, Kenya and Yemen. 

Ladan*, 10, and Sahra*, 10, with their friends at a Child Friendly Space in Puntland, Somalia. Photography credit: Mustafa Saeed / Save the Children

Ladan*, 10, and Sahra*, 10, with their friends at a Child Friendly Space in Puntland, Somalia. Photography: Mustafa Saeed / Save the Children

It's time to lower the cost of remittance.

Save the Children UK is partnering with remittance companies to lower the fees of remittances to Somalia, Ethiopia, Kenya and South Sudan for one month, this November. 

This is a helpful short-term measure to increase support for children and families dealing with the climate and cost-of-living crisis.

But what we really need is a long-term solution that addresses the systemic issues that keep the costs of sending remittance high. That's why we're also working with policymakers, banks, and remittance companies to lower these costs permanently.  But we can't do this without your help. 

Stay tuned to learn more about how you can get involved in our campaign, and for more information on which remittance companies will be taking part in the fee-drop this November.

If you have any other questions in the meantime, please email: y.ghaffar@savethechildren.org.uk