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Research shows Sub-Saharan Africa most expensive for remittances

By , ITWeb’s Zambian correspondent.
Africa , 20 May 2021

A new report by the World Bank, Resilience COVID-19 Crisis Through a Migration Lens, in partnership with KNOMAD, stated that the rate of remittances overall in Sub-Saharan Africa dropped by an estimated 12.5% in 2020 to US$42-billion.

According to the financial organisation the lower rate was almost entirely due to a 27.7% decline in remittance flows to Nigeria, which alone accounted for over 40% of remittance flow to the region.

Excluding Nigeria, the report said remittances flow to Sub-Saharan Africa increased by 2.3%.

The report said remittance growth was reported in Zambia (37%), Mozambique (16%), Kenya (9%) and Ghana (5%).

It added that 80.6% of households in urban areas in Sub-Saharan Africa experienced a decline in remittances in 2020.

However, in 2021, remittance flows to the region are projected to rise by 2.6%, supported by improving prospects for growth in high income countries.

Research affirmed that Sub-Saharan Africa remains the most expensive region to send money to, where sending US$200 costs an average of 8.2% in the fourth quarter of 2020.

Within the region, which experiences high intra- regional migration, the report said it is expensive to send money from South Africa to Botswana (19.6%), Zimbabwe (14%) and to Malawi (16%).

World Bank Social Protection and Jobs global practice global director Michal Rutkowski said, “As COVID-19 devastates families around the world, remittances continue to provide a critical lifeline to the poor and the vulnerable. Supportive policy responses, together with national social protection systems should continue to be inclusive of all communities including migrants.”

Dilip Ratha, lead author of the report on migration and remittances and head of KNOMAD, said, “The resilience of remittances flow is remarkable. Remittances are helping to meet families’ increased need for livelihood support. They can no longer be treated as small changes. The World Bank has been monitoring migration and remittances for nearly two decades ad we are working with governments and partners to produce timely data and make remittance flows even more productive.”

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