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Wednesday 12 May 2021

Remittance Flows Remain Strong During COVID-19 Crisis

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  2 forum posts

WASHINGTON (World Bank press service) — Despite COVID-19, remittance flows remained resilient in 2020, registering a smaller decline than previously projected. Officially recorded remittance flows to low- and middle-income countries reached $540 bln in 2020, just 1.6% below the 2019 total of $548 bln, according to the latest World Bank’s Migration and Development Brief.

The decline in recorded remittance flows in 2020 was smaller than the one during the 2009 global financial crisis (4.8%). It was also far lower than the fall in foreign direct investment (FDI) flows to low- and middle-income countries, which, excluding flows to China, fell by over 30% in 2020. As a result, remittance flows to low- and middle-income countries surpassed the sum of FDI ($259 bln) and overseas development assistance ($179 bln) in 2020.

The main drivers for the steady flow included fiscal stimulus that resulted in better-than-expected economic conditions in host countries, a shift in flows from cash to digital and from informal to formal channels, and cyclical movements in oil prices and currency exchange rates. The true size of remittances, which includes formal and informal flows, is believed to be larger than officially reported data, though the extent of the impact of COVID-19 on informal flows is unclear.

  Forum posts

  • Remittances generate some of the most serious negative effects associated with uncontrolled mass migration. They siphon off much of the capital that drives US businesses and generates tax revenues for state and local governments. And there is no evidence that this money ends up back in the US economy, either directly or indirectly.

  • Watch this:
    What role are remittances playing in the COVID-19 response and recovery?

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