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Coronavirus Leads to Nosedive in Remittances in Latin America

Remittances that support millions of households in Latin America and the Caribbean have plunged as family members lose jobs and income in their host countries, with entire families sliding back into poverty, as a result of the COVID-19 health crisis and global economic recession.

The region will receive a projected 77.5 billion dollars in remittances this year, 19.3 percent less than the 96 billion dollars it received in 2019, according to provisional forecasts by the World Bank.

The damage “can be understood from the angle of consumption. Six million households, of the 30 million that receive remittances, will not have them this year, and another eight million will lose at least one month of that income,” expert Manuel Orozco told IPS from Washington, D.C.

Remittances in the region average 212 dollars per month, according to studies by the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB).

Remittances “represent 50 percent of the total income of the households that receive money from family members abroad, and increase their savings capacity to more than double that of the average population,” said Orozco, who heads the migration, remittances and development programme at the Inter-American Dialogue organisation.

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