A new report by the World Bank carried data indicating an increase in remittances to Morocco by 40 percent in 2021, indicating an expected slowdown during the current year in the growth of these remittances to the countries of the Middle East and North Africa region.
According to the latest report issued by the Washington-based International Finance Corporation, this week, remittances to developing countries in the Middle East and North Africa increased by 7.6 percent in 2021 to reach $61 billion, thanks to the strong improvement in Morocco (40 percent), and Egypt (6.4 percent).
The factors supporting these flows, according to the report, were high economic growth in the host countries in the European Union, as well as transit migration that boosted inflows to temporary host countries such as Egypt, Morocco and Tunisia.
The World Bank recorded that, in 2022, remittance flows are likely to decline slightly and will be in the range of 6 percent, noting that remittances have long been the largest source of external resource flows for developing countries in the Middle East and North Africa – among the flows of official development assistance. Foreign direct investment, equity and debt inflows – which accounted for 61 percent of total inflows in 2021.
The same source added that the average cost of sending $200 to the region fell to 6.4 percent in the fourth quarter of 2021, down from 6.6 percent a year ago.
In addition, the World Bank said it expects officially recorded remittance flows to low- and middle-income countries to increase by 4.2 percent this year to reach $630 billion, following an almost record recovery of 8.6 percent in 2021.
The BM highlighted that the war in Ukraine had also affected international payment systems in light of the attendant repercussions on cross-border remittance flows, noting that Russia’s exclusion from the SWIFT system added a dimension in terms of national security to participation in those systems.