Despite COVID-19, remittance flows remained resilient in 2020, registering a smaller decline than previously projected. Officially recorded remittance flows to low- and middle-income countries reached $540 billion in 2020, just 1.6 percent below the 2019 total of $548 billion.
The latest Migration and Development Brief provides updates on global trends in migration and remittances. It highlights developments related to migration-related Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) indicators for which the World Bank is a custodian: increasing the volume of remittances as a percentage of gross domestic product (SDG indicator 17.3.2) and reducing remittance costs (SDG indicator 10.c.1). Defying predictions, remittance flows have proved to be resilient during the COVID-19 crisis. In 2020, officially recorded remittance flows to low- and middle-income countries reached $540 billion, only 1.6 percent below the $548 billion seen in 2019. Remittances exceeded foreign direct investment flows by a wider margin in 2020. Excluding China, remittance flows surpassed the sum of foreign direct investment and official development assistance. Remittances have therefore become an important consumption smoothing mechanism for the recipient households and, as such, they form an increasingly important (private) element of global social protection systems.
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Blog: Remittances during the COVID-19 Crisis: Resilient and no longer small change
Migration and Development Brief 33