Econostrum | Economic News in the Mediterranean

Diasporas to the rescue of Southern and Eastern Mediterranean countries

Written by Gérard Tur on Tuesday, September 21st 2021 à 16:15 | Read 316 times

In 2020, most Southern and Eastern Mediterranean countries are benefiting from double-digit growth in remittances from their diasporas.

Without remittances, some central banks would suffer from a shortage of foreign exchange. Photo DR
Without remittances, some central banks would suffer from a shortage of foreign exchange. Photo DR
MEDITERRANEAN. While the World Bank was predicting a collapse in financial transfers from diasporas to their countries of origin, the reality appears radically different in the Mediterranean. Unlike their counterparts in the Gulf States, Russia or North America, the diasporas who have opted for Europe benefit from anti-Covid economic measures. As a consequence, currency transfers have fallen everywhere in the world, except in the Mediterranean.
Thus, Lebanese expatriates sent more than 6.3 billion dollars to their families in 2020, according to the Union of Arab Banks (UBA). A windfall that represents more than a third of the Lebanese GDP based on the pound/dollar exchange rate practiced on the street.
At the other end of the Mediterranean, Morocco recorded an increase in remittances from its diaspora of 45% in 2021 (from January to July) compared to the same period in 2020, i.e. an inflow of foreign currency of more than 54 billion euros.
Egypt is unable to keep up with Morocco, but still shows an increase of +13%, as does Tunisia (1.789 billion euros).


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