August 7: The Asian Development Bank (ADB) has projected Nepal’s remittance inflow to shrink by almost 29 percent.
According to the latest report of ADB, Nepal leads the group of five Asian economies where remittance inflow could fall sharply in 2020 due to the impact of coronavirus pandemic.
Migrant workers may be among the hardest hit groups, says the report entitled ‘COVID-19 Impact on International Migration, Remittances, and Recipient Households in Developing Asia’ which was published recently.
“Among developing Asian economies: the five worst-affected are Nepal, where remittances could fall by 28.7%; Tajikistan (27.9%), Bangladesh (27.8%), Pakistan (26.8%), and the Kyrgyz Republic (25.2%),” states the report posted on ADB’s website.
The coronavirus pandemic risks devastating impact on economies around the world, including widespread unemployment and lower incomes.
According to the report, the economic recession from the COVID-19 pandemic threatens the job security and well-being of over 91 million international migrants from Asia and the Pacific.
Total remittances to Asia are expected to drop between $31.4 billion (baseline scenario) and $54.3 billion (worst-case scenario) in 2020, equivalent to 11.5% and 19.8% of baseline remittances, respectively.
With many households depending on international remittances in developing Asia a sudden stop in remittance flow to these regions could push people into poverty, the report warns.
Meanwhile, the report states that newly recruited migrants and those who were on vacation at home face the bleak prospect of losing their jobs.
“A new batch of Nepali migrant workers bound for the Republic of Korea and Qatar, for example, have been asked to put off their departures until further notice”.
The report added that workplace closures applied to 77percent of country observations worldwide toward the end of June 2020.
Alongside the effects of the pandemic on international and domestic travel, trade, investment flows, and other productive activities, the Asian Development Bank (ADB) estimates employment in Asia and the Pacific to be lower by as much as 167 million person months should containment measures last 6 months from when the outbreak first intensified.
According to the report uploaded on ADB website, job cuts in the region are reducing wage income, with estimates of the decline projected to range from $359 billion to $550 billion.