Monday, April 27, 2015

The invisible victims of Russia’s economic crisis aren’t even in Russia - Quartz

New data show that central Asian governments have been right to fear Russia’s economic crisis was heading their way: remittances from migrant laborers are falling sharply, more than in any other region worldwide.

Migrant remittances are the largest single source of foreign currency in Tajikistan and an important factor in declining poverty rates throughout central Asia in recent years. So the contracting Russian economy and stricken ruble—brought on by a sudden fall in oil prices and Western sanctions—have a direct impact on millions of the region’s laborers and their families back home.

“Overall, reduced remittances are likely to worsen standards of living in remittance-receiving countries, and the increasing number of returned migrants could put upward pressures on unemployment rates,” the World Bank said in a regular briefing on Apr. 13.

Tajikistan—which sends approximately one-half of its working age males to labor in Russia—is the most remittance-dependent country in the world. Remittances account for the equivalent of 49% of GDP, according to the World Bank. In dollar terms, they fell 8% last year, largely in the fourth quarter, and are expected to decline another 23% in 2015.

Kyrgyzstan is the world’s second most remittance-dependent country, with remittances totaling the equivalent of 32% of GDP. Last year they fell 1%, but are expected to drop another 23% this year.

Complete story at - The invisible victims of Russia’s economic crisis aren’t even in Russia - Quartz

A migrant family, on the outskirts of Moscow.(Reuters/Denis Sinyakov)

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