India got $111 bn in remittances in 2022, highest for any nation: UN

India was the first country to hit that mark. Mexico, China, the Philippines and France complete the top five list of nations in terms of international remittances in the year 2022.

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India received more than $111 billion as international remittances in 2022 and the figure is the highest for any country, according to the World Migration Report 2024 released by the International Organisation for Migration (IOM), which works within the United Nations system.

The IOM report said India has emerged as “the first country to reach and even surpass the $100 billion mark” in remittances. Mexico, China, the Philippines and France complete the top five list of nations in terms of international remittances in the year 2022.

“India was well above the rest, receiving more than $111 billion, the first country to reach and even surpass the $100 billion mark. Mexico was the second-largest remittance recipient in 2022, a position it also held in 2021 after overtaking China, which historically had been the second-biggest recipient after India,” the World Migration Report 2024 by IOM said.

The IOM stated in its report that India had also finished at the top of the list in 2020 with remittances worth $83.15 billion, in 2015 (USS 68.91 billion) and in 2010 ($53.48 billion).

The report added that with nearly 18 million, which is around 1.3 per cent of the nation’s population, India sends out the highest number of international migrants in the world, and has large diasporas in the United Arab Emirates, the United States and Saudi Arabia.

India apart, Pakistan and Bangladesh are the other South Asian countries to secure a spot among the top 10 recipients of remittances in the world. While Pakistan is placed sixth with nearly $30 billion in international remittances, Bangladesh is at number eight having received remittances worth $21.5 billion in 2022.

The report observed that given the huge number of migrant workers from the sub-continent, the global inflow of remittances for South Asia was among the highest. However, migrants from these nations faced hazards such as workplace and monetary abuse, debts owing to expenses of migration, and xenophobia.

The primary destination of migrant labourers were the Gulf countries, and the 2022 FIFA World Cup in Qatar highlighted the significance of migrants in the region as well as the plight this community faced.

The report said migrant workers comprised a large part of population in several of the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) States. Notably, 88 per cent, almost 73 per cent and 77 per cent of the population of United Arab Emirates, Kuwait and Qatar respectively comprised migrants who also arrived from Egypt, Bangladesh, Ethiopia and Kenya apart from the Indian sub-continent.

In terms of being a destination country for immigrants, India came in at number 13 with 4.48 million. India-United Arab Emirates, India-US, India-Saudi Arabia and Bangladesh-India were among the top 10 international country-to-country migration corridors, the report said.

The Asian countries also send out the largest number of internationally mobile students in the world, according to the report, with the US, the UK, Australia, Germany and Canada being the biggest destination nations for students. There are more female international migrants than male in countries such as the US, Canada, France, Spain and Italy, as well as India.

The IOM report said the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic has been severe on internal and international Indian emigrants, particularly workers with low skills and operating on short-term contracts, as well as undocumented workers.

The report observed how job loss and wage theft during the pandemic plunged many Indian migrants into debt. The pandemic also witnessed a decline of almost 10 per cent among blue-collar workers when it comes to migrating to the cities. The official estimate of reverse internal migration is 51.6 per cent for men and 11 per cent for women, the report said.

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