Covid-19 should seriously stymie remittances to Africa, causing a shortcoming of $18 billion according to the UN Economic Commission for Africa (UNECA). The figure was disclosed last week in a report published by the organization and titled Preserving remittances during Covid-19.
In the document, the UN body highlights the severe impact the pandemic has on remittances, due to difficulties experienced by migrants in host countries that are most affected by the virus and the recession it induced.
“Covid-19 has severely stymied fund transfers to Africa and they should fall byb21% in 2020,” said Stephen Karingi, head of the trade and regional integration division at UNECA.
Let’s recall that remittances are a great help for Africans at home and their reduction could severely affect those in a dire need of them. In recent years, they grew so much that they exceeded the foreign direct investments (FDIs) and development aid that the continent received.
In 2019, remittances by Ghanaians in the diaspora were estimated at $3.5 billion according to the World Bank.