Remittance Flows and the COVID-19 Pandemic
Despite predictions, remittance flows declined only slightly in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. In regions like Latin America and South Asia, remittance flows actually increased by 6.5 percent and 5.2 percent, respectively, despite high rates of global unemployment. Data from an IPA study in Nicaragua finds that formal remittances increased about 25 percent in the months following lockdown. This global rise in formal remittances could be attributed to a shift from informal remittance flows to formal and digital channels, the latter of which is easier to track; more liquidity from social protection programs; or an increase in altruism. In this webinar, Dr. Elizaveta Perova and Dr. Alejandro de la Fuente (World Bank) provide insights from Nicaragua on the drivers of this increase in remittances and its implications for the welfare of recipient households. They are joined by Dr. Robin Gravesteijn and Dr. Azar Sultanov (UNCDF) to discuss the broader evidence on financial inclusion impacts associated with the digitization of remittances. The webinar will be moderated by Tanvi Jaluka (IPA).