According to a World Bank (WB) report, remittances sent by expatriates to Lebanon amounted to USD 6.4 billion in 2022. This represents an increase of 2.62% year-over-year (YOY). Thus, Lebanon rises to third place in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region, preceded by Egypt (USD 28.3 billion) and Morocco (USD 11.2 billion).

However, across the MENA region, remittances fell by 4.48% in 2022 to USD 64 billion. According to the report entitled Migration and Development Brief 38, remittances remain resilient, but are slowing. However, this figure is expected to increase by 1.56% in 2023, to approach USD 65 billion.

It was also noted in the WB report that the average cost of remittances to Lebanon from high-income Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) countries remains significant, with Lebanon belonging to two of the five corridors most expensive money transfer.

An increase of 8%

Furthermore, all low- and middle-income countries (LMICs) saw an 8% increase in remittances from expatriates in the year 2022, reaching USD 647 billion, compared to USD 599 billion in 2021. These numbers are expected to increase by 1.4% in 2023 to reach USD 656 billion.

As stated in the document, this increase in remittances from expatriates to LMIC’s happened despite slower growth and high levels of inflation in some OECD countries, which contributed to a decline in the real income of some immigrants.

Among the main reasons for this increase is the oil boom in the member states of the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC), which has contributed to high incomes of immigrants, massive remittances from Russia to Asian countries, central and dynamic labor market in the United States and in OECD countries.

According to the report, aside from China, diaspora remittances have been the main source of external financing for LMIC’s since 2016. This represents, for more than a decade, nearly three times the amount of official development assistance.

Finally, the World Bank predicts that all regions of the world will experience a 1.1% increase in expatriate remittances in 2023 to reach USD 840 billion, compared to USD 831 billion in 2022, and a growth rate of 5,1% in 2021.

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