‘Critical lifeline’ of migrant cash expected to near £600bn in total | Remittances

Migrants from low- and middle-income countries are expected to send almost £600bn to support friends and relatives by the end of the year, after global economic growth spurred a 7.3% rebound in remittance payments.

The increase in cross-border payments, especially from migrants based in Europe and the US, reversed a 1.7% fall in remittance payments last year, the World Bank said.

Eighteen months ago the bank, based in Washington DC, feared that the pandemic would send remittance payments plunging by about 20% over the next two years.

However, the rapid recovery during 2020 and 2021 meant the scale of payments to these countries from former residents working overseas surpassed the sum of overseas aid and foreign direct investment from richer nations.

The World Bank said its annual survey of foreign exchange transactions, excluding those for China, showed remittances would grow to $589bn in 2021.

“This underscores the importance of…

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