Remittance flows to Pakistan grew by 20pc in 2021: WB

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Says global remittances to increase 4.2pc to $630bn in 2022
WASHINGTON
Officially recorded remittance flows to low- and middle-income countries (LMICs) are expected to increase by 4.2 percent this year to reach $630 billion.
This follows an almost record recovery of 8.6 percent in 2021, according to the World Bank’s latest Migration and Development Brief.
Remittances to Ukraine, which is the largest recipient in Europe and Central Asia, are expected to rise by over 20 percent in 2022. However, remittance flows to many Central Asian countries, for which the main source is Russia, will likely fall dramatically. These declines, combined with rising food, fertilizer, and oil prices, are likely to increase risks to food security and exacerbate poverty in many of these countries.
“The Russian invasion of Ukraine has triggered large-scale humanitarian, migration and refugee crises and risks for a global economy that is still dealing with the impact of the COVID pandemic,” said Michal Rutkowski, Global Director of the Social Protection and Jobs Global Practice at the World Bank.
He said that boosting social protection programmes to protect the most vulnerable, including Ukrainians and families in Central Asia, as well as those affected by the war’s economic impact, is a key priority to protect people from the threats of food insecurity and rising poverty.
Remittances to South Asia grew 6.9 percent to $157 billion in 2021. Though large numbers of South Asian migrants returned to home countries as the pandemic broke out in early 2020, the availability of vaccines and opening of Gulf Cooperation Council economies enabled a gradual return to host countries in 2021, supporting larger remittance flows. Better economic performance in the United States was also a major contributor to the growth in 2021.
Remittance flows to Pakistan grew by 20 percent in 2021, while the growth rate for India remained 8 percent. In 2022, growth in remittance inflows is expected to slow to 4.4 percent. Remittances are the dominant source of foreign exchange for the region, with receipts more than three times the level of FDI in 2021. South Asia has the lowest average remittance cost of any world region at 4.3 percent, though this is still higher than the SDG target of 3 percent.
During 2021, remittance inflows saw strong gains in Latin America and the Caribbean (25.3 percent), Sub-Saharan Africa (14.1 percent), Europe and Central Asia (7.8 percent), the Middle East and North Africa (7.6 percent), and South Asia (6.9 percent). Remittances to East Asia and the Pacific fell by 3.3 percent; although excluding China, remittances grew 2.5 percent. Excluding China, remittance flows have been the largest source of external finance for LMICs since 2015.
The top five recipient countries for remittances in 2021 were India, Mexico (replacing China), China, the Philippines, and Egypt. Among economies where remittance inflows stand at very high shares of GDP are Lebanon (54 percent), Tonga (44 percent), Tajikistan (34 percent), Kyrgyz Republic (33 percent), and Samoa (32 percent).
Globally, the average cost of sending $200 was 6 percent in the fourth quarter of 2021, double the SDG target of 3 percent, according to the Bank’s Remittances Prices Worldwide Database. It is cheapest to send money to South Asia (4.3 percent) and most expensive to send to Sub-Saharan Africa (7.8 percent).