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Remittances Reeling In

Filed on August 15, 2021

According to The World Bank remittance flows remained resilient in 2020, and those from the UAE were second highest


India received over $83 billion in remittances in 2020, a drop of just 0.2 per cent from the previous year, despite a pandemic that devastated the world economy, according to a World Bank report in May 2021. In 2019, India had received $83.3 billion in remittances.

The report said India’s remittances fell by just 0.2 per cent in 2020, with much of the decline due to a 17 per cent drop in remittances from the UAE, which offset resilient flows from the United States and other host countries.

India and China are followed by Mexico ($42.8 billion), the Philippines ($34.9 billion), Egypt ($29.6 billion), Pakistan ($26 billion), France (USD24.4 billion) and Bangladesh ($21 billion), it showed.

In neighbouring Pakistan, remittances rose by about 17 per cent, with the biggest growth coming from Saudi Arabia, followed by the European Union countries and the UAE. In Bangladesh, remittances also showed a brisk uptick in 2020 (18.4 per cent), and Sri Lanka witnessed remittance growth of 5.8 per cent.In contrast, remittances to Nepal fell by about two per cent, reflecting a 17 per cent decline in the first quarter of 2020.

The World Bank, in its latest Migration and Development Brief, said despite Covid-19, remittance flows remained resilient in 2020, registering a smaller decline than previously projected.

The officially recorded remittance flows to low- and middle-income countries reached $540 billion in 2020, just 1.6 per cent below the 2019 total of $548 billion.

“As Covid-19 still devastates families around the world, remittances continue to provide a critical lifeline for the poor and vulnerable,” said Michal Rutkowski, Global Director of the Social Protection and Jobs Global Practice at the World Bank.

“Supportive policy responses, together with national social protection systems, should continue to be inclusive of all communities, including migrants,” Rutkowski added.

“The resilience of remittance flows is remarkable. Remittances are helping to meet families’ increased need for livelihood support,” said Dilip Ratha, lead author of the report on migration and remittances and head of KNOMAD.

“They can no longer be treated as small changes. The World Bank has been monitoring migration and remittance flows for nearly two decades, and we are working with governments and partners to produce timely data and make remittance flows even more productive,” Ratha said.Remittance outflow was the maximum from the United States ($68 billion), followed by UAE ($43 billion), Saudi Arabia ($34.5 billion), Switzerland ($27.9 billion), Germany ($22 billion), and China ($18 billion).

Meanwhile, remittances outflow from India in 2020 was $7 billion, against $7.5 billion in 2019, according to the World Bank. — IANS





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