Phase II: COVID-19 Crisis Through a Migration Lens

Update and projections on migration and remittance flows during the pandemic

The economic crisis induced by COVID-19 could be long, deep, and pervasive when viewed through a migration lens. In October 2020, COVID-19 case numbers rose again to surpass 44 million. The number of fatalities surpassed 1.1 million. A recurrence of COVID-19 phases accompanied by lockdowns, travel bans, and social distancing cannot be ruled out well into 2021. Although economic activities and employment levels around the world have rebounded to varying degrees from the depths reached in Q2, they are still far from the pre-crisis levels, and the near-term outlook remains uncertain. For the first time in recent history, the stock of international migrants is likely to decline in 2020, as new migration has slowed and return migration has increased. 

This Brief provides updates on global trends in migration and remittances. It highlights developments related to migration-related Sustainable Development Goal indicators increasing the volume of remittances as a percentage of gross domestic product reducing remittance costs and reducing recruitment costs for migrant workers.

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