Jamaica’s remittances exceed $3.3 billion, government calls diaspora ‘investors, partners’



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Posted: Friday, April 8, 2022. 8:18 a.m. CST.

Photo credit: knomad.org

By Ruben Morales Iglesias: Jamaican income from remittances exceeded US$3.3 billion for 2021, prompting the Minister of State for the Department of Foreign Affairs and Foreign Trade, Senator Leslie Campbell, to call on the Jamaican diaspora “investors, partners, traders, networkers and key collaborators with the Jamaican government, business and civil society”.

The US$3.3 billion is US$2.9 billion more than in 2020.

The Jamaica News Service said Campbell made the statement at the Global Diaspora Summit in Dublin, Ireland. Campbell said Jamaicans in the diaspora have shown a “strong testimony of commitment” by sending more money home during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Campbell said the Jamaican Foreign Ministry supports the World Bank which has said governments should facilitate the flow of remittances.

“Migrant remittances have significantly supplemented government cash transfer programs to support families suffering economic hardship during the COVID-19 crisis. Facilitating the flow of remittances to relieve strained household budgets should be a key part of government policies to support a global recovery from the pandemic,” said Michal Rutkowski, Global Director for Social Protection and Employment at the World Bank in the press on World Bank Remittances 2021. release in November 2021.

“We endorse this position and support partnership efforts with private entities to facilitate research, dialogue, development and implementation for the safe and efficient transmission of remittances,” Campbell said.

The World Bank said remittances to low- and middle-income countries are expected to reach $589 billion in 2021, a 7.3% increase from 2020, when remittances only fell. 1.7% despite the severe global recession caused by COVID-19. 19 pandemic.

The World Bank said that despite the high cost of remittances which reached 6.4% to send $200 from one country to another in the first quarter of 2021, remittances “have recorded strong growth in most the regions”.

According to the World Bank, flows increased by 21.6% in Latin America and the Caribbean, mainly due to the economic recovery in the United States and the response of migrants to natural disasters in their country of origin.

The World Bank said that their data shows the cost of remittances is generally higher when money is sent through banks than through digital channels or money transfers by companies that offer cash services.

“For remittances to continue to flow, especially through digital channels, providing access to bank accounts for migrants and remittance service providers remains a critical requirement. Policy responses must also continue to include migrants, particularly in the areas of access to vaccines and protection against underpayment,” said Dilip Ratha, lead author of the migration and development brief and Director of KNOMAD.

The World Bank said projections show remittances will grow by 2.6% in 2022.

Remittances to Jamaica represent 23.6% of the country’s gross domestic product, while for Belize, remittances represent only 7.3%, according to the Migration and Development Brief.

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