World Bank Says Egypt Remittances Increase 'Countercyclical' to Virus Crisis, Dip On Horizon

31/10/2020

The World Bank has said remittance inflows to Egypt have so far been "countercyclical" to the coronavirus crisis, despite a drop in the Middle East and North Africa region due to the pandemic this year. 

According to the latest estimates published in the bank's Migration and Development Brief on Thursday, Egypt, MENA's largest recipient of remittances, has been resistant to the crisis, as Egyptian expats working abroad "increase one-off transfers to their families back home."

"Flows are likely to eventually decline due to lower oil prices and slower economic growth in the Gulf countries, with major remittance-receiving countries likely to register falls in remittances," it said. 

This comes days after the Central Bank of Egypt (CBE) said remittances from Egyptian expats had risen by around 10.4 percent in fiscal year 2019/2020, describing the figure as a "historic high."

According to CBE data, the remittances amounted to $27.8 billion in 2019/2020, up from $25.2 billion in the  2018/2019 fiscal year.

Remittances rose 33.7 percent in June year on year to amount to $2.6 billion, up from $1.9 billion in June of last year.

A key source of foreign currency, remittances had declined 10.5 percent during April-June to $6.2 billion, down from $6.9 billion in the corresponding period last year.