File photo of the World Bank - Reuters
In a recent study titled “A War in a Pandemic… Implications of the Ukraine Crisis and COVID-19 on Global Governance of Migration and Remittance flows,” the World Bank said that Egypt came among the top five countries in terms of attracted remittances in 2021, with a total value of $32 billion, following India, Mexico (replacing China), China, and the Philippines.
The report attributed that to the higher oil prices that fuel remittances from Gulf countries to Egypt as well as the economic downturns in Europe and the US.
From a wider angel, the report noted that remittances to the developing countries of the Middle East and North Africa region grew by 7.6 percent in 2021 to record $61 billion, driven by robust gains into Morocco (40 percent) and Egypt (6.4 percent).
Remittances are the largest source of external resource flows for developing MENA — among official development assistance (ODA), foreign direct investment (FDI), portfolio equity and debt flows —accounting for 61 percent of the total inflows in 2021, according to the report.
The report projected remittance flows to low- and middle-income countries to increase by 4.2 percent in 2022 to record $630 billion.
“This follows an almost record recovery of 8.6 percent in 2021,” the report explained.
It added that “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. “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.”
According to the latest figures published by the Central Bank of Egypt (CBE), remittance flows to Egypt grew by 6.4 percent in 2021 to reach $31.5 billion, up from $29.6 percent in 2020.
The CBE noted that this is the highest level recorded in Egypt’s history.