Egypt Tops Arabs, the Sixth Globally Receiving Migrant Remittances: World Bank

In Egypt, remittances have tripled since 2009, reaching US$20 billion this year to be rank the first in Arab countries and the sixth in the list of top recipients of remittances transferred to developing countries, World Bank Migration and Development Brief said in a new report.

“Remittances to Egypt have surged since 2010, perhaps driven by increased support by migrants to their families in the face of political uncertainty or savings brought by returning migrants,” The report read.

In the Middle East and North Africa, displacement of people due to conflict has assumed critical proportions, especially as nearly 2 million Syrians have moved to neighboring countries as refugees. The direction of remittances is unclear. In 2010, the last date for which data are available, Syria received over $1.6 billion in remittances. With conflict, more inward remittances are expected to from those already abroad, to help families and friends. However, the recently displaced people are also expected to take funds with them or receive remittances from Syria. On balance, we expect remittances to Syria to rise modestly.

“In terms of volume, India with US$ 71 billion of remittances tops the global chart. To put this in perspective, this is just short of three times the Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) it received in 2012,” the report added.

The top recipients of officially recorded remittances for 2013, according to the report, are India (with an estimated $71 billion), China ($60 billion), the Philippines ($26 billion), Mexico ($22 billion), Nigeria ($21 billion) and Egypt ($20 billion).

Other large recipients, the report said, include Pakistan, Bangladesh, Vietnam and Ukraine, adding that as a percentage of GDP, the top recipients of remittances in 2012 were Tajikistan (48 per cent), Kyrgyz Republic (31 per cent), Lesotho and Nepal (25 per cent each) and Moldova (24 per cent).