Migration and Development Brief 33


Phase II: COVID-19 Crisis Through a Migration Lens

The economic crisis induced by COVID-19 could be long, deep, and pervasive when viewed through a migration lens. In October 2020, COVID19 case numbers rose again to surpass 44 million. The number of fatalities surpassed 1.1 million. A recurrence of COVID19 phases accompanied by lockdowns, travel bans, and social distancing cannot be ruled out well into 2021. Although economic activities and employment levels around the world have rebounded to varying degrees from the depths reached in Q2, they are still far from the pre-crisis levels, and the near-term outlook remains uncertain. For the first time in recent history, the stock of international migrants is likely to decline in 2020, as new migration has slowed and return migration has increased.

The latest Migration and Development Brief provides updates on global trends in migration and remittances. It highlights developments related to migration-related Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) indicators for which the World Bank is a custodian: increasing the volume of remittances as a percentage of gross domestic product (GDP) (SDG indicator 17.3.2), reducing remittance costs (SDG indicator 10.c.1), and reducing recruitment costs for migrant workers (SDG indicator 10.7.1).