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Remittances could fall by $100 billion because of COVID-19 – here’s why that matters


The scale of remittances is vast. But it’s under threat.


The money sent home by around one billion workers overseas or internally to their families is collectively higher than either foreign direct investment or official development assistance. It was almost three-quarters of a billion dollars last year – a record sum.


But the World Bank estimates the global slump will wipe 19.7% – or $109bn – from the portion of this money that flows to the Low and Middle-Income Countries (LMICs) that need it most. Those economies are now bracing for the impact.


So far, the UK and Swiss governments have led a call for lower transfer fees, and economists and campaigners are calling for more support for migrant workers. But damage may be unavoidable.


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