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Remittances to developing countries to reach $454b in 2015 — World Bank

Global average cost of sending remittances continued its downward trend in the third quarter of 2014

Published: 6 March 2015 Gulf News  ( http://gulfnews.com/ )

* Remittances to developing countries are projected to grow by 5 per cent to reach $435 billion (Dh1.6 trillion) in 2014, and may rise further by 4.4 per cent to $454 billion in 2015, according to a recent report from the World Bank.

* The global average cost of sending remittances continued its downward trend in the third quarter of 2014, falling to 7.9 per cent of the value sent, compared to 8.9 per cent a year earlier.

* Competition and the expansion of mobile phone and internet-based technologies hold much potential to continue driving down fees. Risk-based approaches to the application of anti-money laundering regulations to remittance operators and international banks hosting their bank accounts will be important to ensuring that compliance does not result in undue costs, which could slow the fall in remittance costs and leave substantial flows underground.

* Forced migration due to conflict is at its highest level since the Second World War, affecting more than 51 million people. In addition, forced migration driven by natural disasters affects another 22 million people, bringing the total to at least 73 million. Forced displacement is typically viewed as a humanitarian issue, but given that it has impacts on growth, employment, and public spending for countries of both origin and destination, it is also a major development issue.

* Nine out of ten refugees were being hosted in developing countries at the end of 2013, with Pakistan and Iran the largest of these hosts. Many refugees and internally displaced people are living in protracted situations of displacement; in 2013, an estimated two-thirds of the world’s refugees had been in exile for more than five years, and half of them were children.

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