A double-blow to global economies because of COVID-19 and the Ukraine-Russia conflict has increased food prices and fuelled interest in-and adoption of digital payments technology.
This is according to the World Bank which predicts a 7.1% increase in the volume of remittances to Sub-Saharan Africa.
In its May 2022 Migration and Development brief titled: A War in a Pandemic ‘Implications of the Ukraine Crisis and COVID-19 on Global Governance of Migration and Remittance Flows, the Bank said migrants are likely to send money to home countries that are suffering extraordinary increases in prices of staple food as a result of global chain supply disruption caused by the Russia, Ukraine war.
It added that during 2021, remittance inflow saw strong gain in Sub-Saharan Africa (14.1%) or approximately US$49-billion following an 8.1% decline in 2020.
The Bank attributed the growth in part to strong economic activities in Europe and the United States, as well as inflow to Nigeria having increased by 11.2%.
According to its market research, countries that have registered double-digit growth rates, include Cabo Verde (23.3%), Gambia (31%) and Kenya (20.1%), and those countries where the value of remittance inflows as a share of GDP is significant include Gambia (27%), Lesotho (23%), Comoros (19%) and Cabo Verde (16%).
The World Bank added that remittances to North Africa grew by 7.6% in 2021 to US$61-billion, driven by robust gains into Morocco (40%) and Egypt (6.4%).
It said factors supporting the flow were economic growth within host countries in the European Union (EU) as well as transiting migration which further boosted inflows to temporary host countries such as Egypt, Morocco and Tunisia.
Dilip Ratha, lead author of the report on migration and remittances and head of World Bank initiative The Global Knowledge Partnership on Migration and Development (KNOMAD) said, “On one hand, the Ukraine crisis has shifted global policy attention away from other developing regions and from economic migration. On the other hand, it strengthened the case for supporting destination communities that are experiencing a large influx of migrants.”