APA-Addis Ababa (Ethiopia) During the last six months Ethiopia has received $389 million in remittances from its citizens living in the diaspora, according to the Ethiopian National Bank.
The bank said this reflects a 19% increase over last year’s remittances despite fears that the inflows would decline due to the global financial crisis.
The remittances came mainly from Ethiopian citizens residing in the United States, Europe and the Middle East.
About one million Ethiopians live abroad, the majority in the United States.
The bank expects to receive $1 billion in remittances in 2009.
The remittances received is still low compared to the number of citizens living abroad and the government is undertaking various activities to increase the remittances to $2 billion in the coming few years,” said Bekalu Ayalew, the public relation officer of the bank.
Currently, the bank allows Ethiopians living abroad to open a bank account in foreign exchange, either in US dollars or in the European Union currency, the euro.