Helpful reply from the Africa Minister, James Duddridge MP, concerning the role remittances play in supporting the incomes of hundreds of millions of people around the world, and the projections of the World Bank of a 20% decline in remittances as a result of Covid19
Thank you for your email of 29 April, sharing correspondence from Transferwise about remittances sent from the UK to Africa. Transferwise have also contacted me directly raising the same issues.
I very much recognise the vital role remittances play in supporting the incomes of
hundreds of millions of people around the world, including in many countries in Africa.
I was therefore very concerned to see the publication by the World Bank of their projections of a 20% decline in remittances to low- and middle-income countries in 2020. In response to this, last Friday the UK Government, working with the Swiss Government and with the support of the World Bank and other partners, launched a global Call to Action on remittances.
This Call to Action ‘Remittances in Crisis: How to Keep them Flowing’ calls
on policymakers, regulators and remittance service providers to take action to keep
remittances flowing during the crisis. Please see further details in the following link https://www.gov.uk/government/news/uk-calls-for-global-action-to-protect-vital-moneytransfers.
In addition, the UK Government remains committed to achieving the SDG target of
reducing the transaction cost of remittances to less than 3% by 2030.
Transferwise have raised some interesting ideas that relate to this, which I think may be useful to explore. I will be setting up a meeting with them to discuss this issue.