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Afghan families receive $700m annually from relatives working abroad

By: Shukria Kohistani

KABUL: Destitute families receive at least $700 million in annual aid from their relatives working outside the country, the country’s Central Bank (CB) has recently announced.
Millions of Afghans are now living outside the country, sending huge amount of money to their relatives inside the war-suffered country.
“Moderately $700 million are sent by those Afghans living and working in different world countries, to their families inside Afghanistan,” Usmat Kohsar, a spokesman to the bank said adding the cash has had effective role in the country’s economy.
The money are sent through banks, money exchangers and other monetary services, said the spokesman.
According to him, Afghans residing abroad have sent $722 million in 2020, $750 million in 2019 and $650 million in 2018 to Afghanistan.
The United Nations has also designated June16th as the official International Day of Family Remittances (IDFR), which unanimously proclaimed in February 2015.
According to the organization, up to 200 million migrants worldwide, including men and women, send money to about 800 million members of their families in their countries of origin.
In 2019, migrant workers sent $548 billion to their families in low-and middle-income countries, the World Bank (WB) said in a report released in May and in 2020, due to the outbreak of the COVID-19, the figure decreased by 1.6 percent to $540 billion.
According to the report, India, China, Mexico, the Philippines and Egypt are the five countries receiving the most money from their immigrant families in 2020.
The United States, the United Arab Emirates (UAE), Saudi Arabia and Russia are the four countries from which foreign workers have sent the most money to their countries of origin, the report added.
According to the UN individual remittances may be of relatively small value, but overall, the money flows are three times more than official global development assistance.
The organization has also said that migrant workers’ payments of their families have increased fivefold worldwide over the past 20 years and Afghanistan was one of the countries with the largest number of immigrants in the world.
At least four decades of consecutive wars and insecurities have made millions of Afghans leave for different regional and world countries.

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