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India to receive over 12% of global remittances in 2014: World Bank

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08 October 2014

India will account for 12.19 per cent, or $71 billion of overall global remittances of an estimated $582 billion this year, and also retain its top spot among developing countries with a 16.32 per cent share of an expected $435 billion in remittances during the year.

India, with the world's largest number of emigrants at 14 million, will also remain in the top spot this year, attracting about $71 billion in remittances, the World Bank said in its latest issue of the `Migration and Development Brief', released yesterday.

India with projected inflows of $71 billion, lead China that is expected to receive $64 billion in the global remittances rankings in 2014.

Other large recipients are the Philippines ($28 billion), Mexico ($24 billion), Nigeria ($21 billion), Egypt ($18 billion), Pakistan ($17 billion), Bangladesh ($15 billion), Vietnam ($11 billion) and Ukraine ($9 billion).

In terms of GDP share in 2013, the top recipients of remittances were Tajikistan (42 per cent), Kyrgyz Republic (32 per cent), Nepal (29 per cent), Moldova (25 per cent), Lesotho and Samoa (24 per cent each), Armenia and Haiti (both 21 per cent), the Gambia (20 per cent) and Liberia (18 per cent).

Officially recorded remittances to developing countries are expected to reach $435 billion this year, an increase of five per cent over 2013, the World Bank has said, adding that this year's growth rate is substantially faster than the 3.4 per cent growth recorded in 2013.

Remittances to developing countries, driven largely by remittances to Asia and Latin America, will continue climbing in the medium term, reaching an estimated $454 billion in 2015, the bank noted.

Global remittances, including those to high-income countries, are estimated at $582 billion this year, rising to $608 billion next year.

"Remittances to developing countries grew this year by five per cent. Remittance inflows provided stable cover for substantial parts of the import bill for such countries as Egypt, Pakistan, Haiti, Honduras, and Nepal," said Kaushik Basu, senior vice president and chief economist of the World Bank Group.

''In addition, India and the Philippines benefit from having migrants with the most diverse destination spread, thereby creating buffers against regional shocks,'' he added.

While remittances to the South Asia region are increasing more robustly this year, accelerating from slower growth in 2013, flows to India, the region's largest remittance recipient, will grow modestly by 1.5 per cent in 2014.

The expansion is being led by flows from the Gulf Cooperation Council countries, where skilled and unskilled workers are finding renewed job opportunities.

As a result, the growth rate of remittances to the region is expected to more than double this year to 5.5 per cent (from 2.7 per cent in 2013), boosting volumes to $117 billion in 2014 and rising further to $123 billion in 2015, it said.

In a special analysis on forced migration, the brief notes that forced migration due to conflict is at its highest level since World War II, affecting more than 51 million people. An additional 22 million people have been forced to move due to natural disasters, bringing the total affected by forced migration to at least 73 million.

''Despite the encouraging outlook for remittance flows, the circumstances of many migrants are troubling. With so many people on the move against their will and many others undertaking desperate and dangerous journeys, it is clear that more effort is needed to make migration safer and cheaper by exploring economically viable policy options,'' said Dilip Ratha, Lead Economist, Migration and Remittances, at the World Bank's Development Prospects Group and Head of the Global Knowledge Partnership on Migration and Development (KNOMAD).

Forced migration is typically viewed as a humanitarian issue but affects growth, employment and public spending for both origin and destination countries. The issue needs to be examined also through a development lens, says the brief.

Forced migration is a major challenge in several regions. In developing Europe and Central Asia, 1 million people in Ukraine have been displaced, while the high-income countries of Europe are receiving record numbers of asylum seekers. Applications to the entire region rose to over 480,000, an increase of 68 per cent from 2009.

Pakistan and Iran top the world list of refugee host countries, as millions of people from neighboring Afghanistan remain displaced after more than 35 years of conflict. At the end of 2013, nine out of 10 refugees were being hosted in developing countries.

The war in Syria has displaced half the country's population, with 3 million refugees crossing borders and 6.5 million people displaced internally. Most Syrian refugees have fled to neighboring Lebanon, Turkey and Jordan, joining millions of Iraqi and Palestinian refugees already there. In 2014, Syrians overtook Afghans as the second largest refugee group, outnumbered only by Palestinian refugees.

In Sub-Saharan Africa, internal conflict (including renewed instability in South Sudan and Boko Haram activities in Nigeria) together with persistent drought in the Horn of Africa, are resulting in increased forced migration in the region.





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