Remittances to sub-Saharan Africa are forecasted to drop to $44 billion this year, down 9% compared to 2019. This prediction by the World Bank is attributed to the pandemic currently hitting global economic activity.
This situation could, according to the World Bank, exacerbate food insecurity and poverty in this part of Africa where remittances play a crucial role in the economic and social sectors. The decline will however be unevenly observed across the region. Countries such as Kenya have remained on a positive trend so far, although the World Bank estimates that flows are expected to eventually decline in 2021. In North Africa, remittances to Egypt also performed well despite the crisis, with Egyptian workers abroad increasing one-time transfers to their families back home.
This new figure comes a few days after the report of the United Nations Economic Commission for Africa (UNECA) which predicts a 21% drop in remittances from the diaspora to the entire African continent.
Sub-Saharan Africa remains the most expensive region for remittances. According to the World Bank, in the third quarter of 2020, sending $200 in remittances to the region cost an average of 8.5% of the amount sent, down slightly from 9% a year ago.