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Development Aid

Volume 486: debated on Thursday 22 January 2009

To ask the Secretary of State for International Development what assessment he has made of the likely effects of global economic conditions on the level of remittances from the United Kingdom to developing countries in 2009; and if he will make a statement. (248780)

I refer the hon. Member to the answer given on 17 November 2008, Official Report, column 119W.

Recently the World Bank, in the publication ‘Outlook for Remittance Flows 2008-2010’ estimated UK remittances outflows at $5 billion for 2007. World Bank analysis of ‘EU-15’, that includes the UK, states that

“outward remittances from the EU-15 countries are expected to decline by nearly eight per cent. in 2009, primarily due to a strengthening of the US dollar”.

The World Bank's central estimate is that remittance flows to developing countries will fall by 0.9 per cent. this year. However, this could go down further as the impact of the financial crisis deepens, with a worst case scenario according to the Bank of a fall of six per cent.