The World Bank says remittances to sub-Saharan African countries is projected to rise by 7.1 percent driven by higher food prices.
The development follows another rise in remittances to the region in 2021 to $49 billion (about K40 trillion) supported by strong economic activity in Europe and the United States.
In its recent May 2022 Migration and Development Brief titled ‘Implications of the Ukraine Crisis and Covid-19 on Global Governance of Migration and Remittance Flows’, the World Bank says this is because migrants will likely send more money to home countries that are suffering extraordinary increases in prices of staples as a result of the global supply chain disruptions.
Reads the report in part: “As Covid-19 incidence eased in the industrial economies, job prospects improved, allowing African migrants to supplement remittances to home countries that continued to experience sobering consequences of the virus.
“In 2022, remittance inflows are projected to grow by 7.1 percent driven by continued shift to the use of official channels in Nigeria and higher food prices, migrants will likely send more money to home countries that are now suffering extraordinary increases in prices of staples.”
However, sub-Saharan Africa remains the costliest developing region to which the average cost of remitting $200 (about K165 000) from countries in the least expensive corridors was 3.4 percent or K5 610 in the fourth quarter of 2021 while from the sub-Saharan region, it averaged 7.8 percent or K12 870.
In a statement accompanying the report, World Bank global director of the social protection and jobs global practice Michal Rutkowski said 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-19 pandemic.
“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,” he said.
Remittances are monetary transfers sent from migrants to their homes through formal and informal channels.