Remittances To India Likely To Decline By 23% In 2020 Due To Covid-19: World Bank
A man walks near the Municipal Corporation Building, left, and the Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj Terminus during a lockdown in Mumbai, India. (Photographer: Dhiraj Singh/Bloomberg)

Remittances To India Likely To Decline By 23% In 2020 Due To Covid-19: World Bank

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Remittances to India are likely to drop by 23 percent from $83 billion last year to $64 billion this year due to the coronavirus pandemic, which has resulted in a global recession, the World Bank has said.

Globally remittances are projected to decline sharply by about 20 percent this year due to the economic crisis induced by the pandemic and shutdowns, according to a World Bank report on the impact of the Covid-19 on migration and remittances released on Wednesday.

The projected fall, which would be the sharpest decline in recent history, is largely due to a fall in the wages and employment of migrant workers, who tend to be more vulnerable to loss of employment and wages during an economic crisis in a host country, it said.

Also read: Coronavirus India Updates: Total Cases Cross 21,000 As 10 Days Remain In Lockdown

"In India, remittances are projected to fall by about 23 percent in 2020, to $64 billion -- a striking contrast with the growth of 5.5 percent and receipts of $83 billion seen in 2019, the report said.

World Bank Group President David Malpass said remittances are a "vital source of income" for developing countries.

"The ongoing economic recession caused by Covid-19 is taking a severe toll on the ability to send money home and makes it all the more vital that we shorten the time to recovery for advanced economies," he said.

Also read: Workers Who Make the World’s Clothes Are Facing Abject Poverty

Malpass noted that remittances help families afford food, healthcare and basic needs.

"As the World Bank Group implements fast, broad action to support countries, we are working to keep remittance channels open and safeguard the poorest communities' access to these most basic needs," he said.

Remittance flows are expected to fall across all World Bank Group regions, most notably in Europe and Central Asia (27.5 percent), followed by Sub-Saharan Africa (23.1 percent), South Asia (22.1 percent), the Middle East and North Africa (19.6 percent), Latin America and the Caribbean (19.3 percent), and East Asia and the Pacific (13 percent).

Also read: Unemployment Rate In Asia-Pacific May Rise Over 3 Percentage Points Due To Covid-19, Says S&P Global

In Pakistan, the projected decline is about 23 percent, totalling about $17 billion, compared to a total of $22.5 billion last year, when remittances grew by 6.2 percent.

In Bangladesh, remittances are projected at $14 billion this year, a likely fall of about 22 percent.

Remittances to Nepal and Sri Lanka are expected to decline by 14 percent and 19 percent, respectively, this year.

The deadly coronavirus has so far infected over 2,638,020 people and claimed more than 184,230 lives across the globe.

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