ISLAMABAD: The Asian Development Bank (ADB) has said in a new report that the coronavirus pandemic will hit remittances hard in Asia and the Pacific, and Pakistan could be one of the worst affected economies.
In 2019, six of the ten largest remittance recipients globally were from India, China, the Philippines, Pakistan, Bangladesh, and Vietnam.
“The results show that the COVID-19 impact on remittances ranges from a 5.2% decline from baseline remittances in 2018 for the least affected economy to almost a 30% decline for the most-affected,” the ADB report, entitled ‘COVID-19 Impact on International Migration, Remittances, and Recipient Households in Developing Asia’, said.
“Among developing Asian economies: the five worst affected are Nepal, where remittances could fall by 28.7%; Tajikistan (27.9%), Bangladesh (27.8%), Pakistan (26.8%), and the Kyrgyz Republic (25.2%).”
Strict curfews, lockdowns and travel bans enforced around the world to slow the spread of the COVID-19 outbreak have decimated jobs and slashed remittances from migrants, cutting off a lifeline for millions.
But Pakistan central bank data shows remittances rose by 50.7% during June 2020 to reach a record high of $2,466.2 million compared with $1,636.4 million in June 2019. In fiscal year 2020, the bank said, remittances increased to a historic high of $23.12 billion, 6.4% more than last year.
“Inflow of workers’ remittances registered an increase of 7.8% during March-June 2020 pandemic period compared with the corresponding period of 2019,” the central bank said last month.