Bangladesh has become the 8th largest remittance-receiving country and the 6th largest migrant-sending country globally, according to the World Migration Report 2022.
The report focuses on developments in migration over the last two-year period, with an emphasis on providing analysis that takes into account historical and contemporary factors. According to the report, there were around 281 million international migrants in the world in 2020.
The UN agency for International Organization for Migration (IOM) on Wednesday launched its flagship World Migration Report 2022 which reveals a dramatic increase in internal displacement due to disaster, conflict, and violence at a time when global mobility ground to a halt due to Covid-19 travel restrictions.
The report highlights that in 2020, 7.40 million Bangladeshi migrants lived abroad. Despite living beyond the country’s borders, Bangladesh’s diaspora has continued to play a key role in the country’s development.
The World Bank estimates that the Bangladeshi population abroad sent home over USD 18 billion in 2019, with 73 per cent coming from those working in Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) countries.
These remittances account for over 6.0 per cent of GDP, representing the country’s second-largest source of foreign income.
The efforts by policymakers to encourage and facilitate the sending of remittances have greatly aided the remittance landscape in Bangladesh.
The Central Bank of Bangladesh more than tripled the ceiling on its 2019 cash incentive scheme – whereby remittance beneficiaries receive a 2.0 per cent bonus on transfers made using formal systems – up to USD 5,000. Additionally, some commercial banks are providing an additional one per cent incentive to increase the attractiveness of sending remittances even more.
“In 2020, despite the impact of COVID-19 which slowed remittance flows globally, Bangladesh benefitted USD 21.76 billion injected into the economy through remittances. Overall, international migration has been a critical part of the development story of Bangladesh, with migrants moving to pursue opportunities for economic and social, and then helping raise the living standards in the home” said Fathima Nusrath Ghazzali, IOM Bangladesh’s Officer In Charge.
The number of air passengers globally dropped 60 per cent in 2020 to 1.8 billion (down from 4.5 billion in 2019) while at the same time internal displacement due to disaster, conflict, and violence rose to 40.5 million (up from 31.5 million in 2019).
According to the report, the number of international migrants has grown from 84 million globally in 1970 to 281 million in 2020, although when global population growth is factored in, the proportion of international migrants has only inched up from 2.3 per cent to 3.6 per cent of the world’s population.
The vast majority of people globally (96.4 per cent) reside in the country in which they were born. Due to COVID-19, the number of international migrants in 2020 was lower, by around 2 million, than it otherwise would have been, the report added.