- India received more than $ 83 billion in remittances in 2020 despite a pandemic which shook the world economy
- India only received 0.2% less than what it received in 2019, when there was no COVID-19 outbreak in the country
- In 2019, India had received $83.3 billion in remittances
- Pakistan’s remittance was increased by 17% in 2020
In the year 2020, India received more than $ 83 billion in remittances which was a drop of just 0.2% from the year 2019 even though a pandemic had devasted the world economy in 2020, as per the World Bank report.
China, which received $ 59.5 billion in remittance in 2020 down from $ 68.3 billion from the year 2019, is the distant second in terms of global remittances for the year of the pandemic, according to the latest World Bank data which was released on Wednesday.
In the year 2019, the total remittance received by India was $ 83.3 billion.
According to the report, India’s remittances only dropped by 0.2% in 2020, with much of the decline due to a 17% drop in remittances from the United Arab Emirates, which offset resilient flows from the United States and other host countries.
India and China are followed by Mexico which received $ 42.8 billion in remittance, the Philippines received $ 34.9 billion, Egypt received $ 29.6 billion, Pakistan received $ 26 billion, France received $ 24.4 billion and Bangladesh received $ 21 billion in remittances in 2020, it showed.
In our neighbouring country, Pakistan, the remittance was increased by 17% with the biggest growth coming in from the Saudi Arabia which was followed by European Union countries and the United Arab Emirates.
Bangladesh, too, saw a brisk uptick of 18.4% in its remittances in 2020 while Sri Lanka’s remittance was increased by 5.8%.
On the contrary, remittances to Nepal fell by around 2%, reflecting a 17% decline in the first quarter of 2020.
In its latest Migration and Development Brief, the Worl Bank said that despite COVID-19 in 2020, the remittance flows remained resilient, registering only a smaller decline than previously projected.
The remittance flows officially recorded to the low- and middle-income countries close to $ 540 billion in 2020, just 1.6% below the 2019 total of $ 548 billion.
Michal Rutkowski, the Global Director of the Social Protection and Jobs Global Practice at the World Bank said, “As COVID-19 still devastates families around the world, remittances continue to provide a critical lifeline for the poor and vulnerable.
“Supportive policy responses, together with national social protection systems, should continue to be inclusive of all communities, including migrants”.
The remittance flow in Latin America and the Caribbean, South Asia and the Middle East and North Africa increased by 6.5%, 6.5%, 5.2%, and 2.3% respectively.
Having said this, the remittance fell for East Asia and Pacific by 7.9%, for Europe and Central Asia by 9.7% and for Sub-Saharan Africa by 12.5%, as per the report.
The decline in the flows to Sub-Saharan Africa was almost entirely due to a 28% decline in the remittance flows to Nigeria. Excluding flows to Nigeria, remittances to Sub-Saharan Africa increased by 2.3%, demonstrating resilience.
The relatively strong performance of the remittance flows during the COVID-19 pandemic has also highlighted the importance of data being available on time.
Given its growing significance as a source of external financing for low- and middle-income countries, there is a need for better collection of data on remittances, in terms of frequency, timely reporting, and granularity by corridor and channel, the report said.
Dilip Ratha, the lead author of the report on migration and remittances as well as the head of KNOMAD (Knowledge Partnership on Migration and Development) said, “The resilience of remittance flows is remarkable. Remittances are helping to meet families’ increased need for livelihood support.
He added, “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”.
The maximum outflow of remittances was seen from the following countries:
- United States ($ 68 billion)
- UAE ($ 43 billion)
- Saudi Arabia ($ 34.5 billion)
- Switzerland ($ 27.9 billion)
- Germany ($ 22 billion)
- China ($ 18 billion).
Remittances outflow from India in 2020 was $ 7 billion, against $ 7.5 billion in 2019, as per the World Bank.