Covid to impact migrant remittance

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With a large number of countries still under lockdown and having work restrictions, the money sent by migrants to their home countries will see a fall of 20 per cent, according to an international study.

The world is projected to see a decline from 714 billion dollars in 2019 to an estimated 572 billion dollars in 2020 with the largest remittance sending nations experiencing stringent lockdowns, said the Pew Research Center.

The PEW Research Centre looked at the number of days each country has spent under stay at home orders or workplace closures in 2020 and average decline in physical mobility near workplaces during pandemic. They said that analysis of the data gave a clear picture of the declining trend in money remittances.

It said that the ten largest remittance sending countries showed a decline of about 33 per cent in physical mobility around workplaces from February 15 to May 21. They also saw an average of 67 days under workplace closures or stay-at-home orders as of May 28.

The PEW research report said that the decline in remittances may hit some countries hard. “Some countries stand out for receiving an unusually large share of their gross domestic product in remittances from countries that have experienced heavy declines in mobility. For instance, 17% of GDP in the Palestinian territories came from remittances in 2018, with most of that money arriving from countries that have experienced especially large declines in mobility near workplaces this year,” they said.

Other countries that could be hit hard are among the world’s most dependent on remittances. For example, Haiti’s $3.1 billion in annual remittance inflows accounted for 33% of its GDP in 2018, making it the world’s third most remittance-dependent country that year, after Tonga and Kyrgyzstan. Of Haiti’s 2018 total, one-third (equal to 11% of GDP) came from countries that experienced large declines in workplace mobility this spring, the study said.

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