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Round table on the effects of COVID-19, on Migration, Remittances and Financial Inclusion


On May 14, 2021, with the participation of representatives of central banks, statistical entities, as well as remittances services providers from the private sector and international organizations, was held the “Round Table on the Effects of COVID-19 in Migration, Remittances and Finance Inclusion ”, whose main objective was the exchange of opinions and analysis on aspects such as the evolution of remittances received by the countries of Latin America and the Caribbean during 2020 and in the first months of 2021; the effect of the COVID-19 pandemic on these flows, other factors identified that have influenced the evolution of remittances and the policies developed to mitigate the effects of the pandemic on the income of migrants. The event took place in a virtual format and was jointly organized by CEMLA and the IDB-Lab.

There was consensus among the experts who participated in the round table that the observed growth of remittances received by the countries of the region during the pandemic was surprisingly higher than expected. It was highlighted that although during this period there were factors that hurt the sending of remittances at the beginning of the pandemic, such as the closure of remittance sending points and the decrease in labor activity and occupations of migrants abroad. Other factors such as the development of contactless shipping instruments, the adoption of financial support programs by the governments of some of the countries where the migrants reside, and the use of their savings, made it possible to recover these shipments as of May 2020. Additionally, the recovery of the economies of the countries where the migrants reside also allowed that during the second semester of last year and the first months of 2021, remittance flows increased even more, thus setting a new record in the reception of these resources among the countries of the region. It was mentioned that, due to the heterogeneity of the presence of these factors in the different countries receiving migrants, the behavior of remittances was different between the different areas of the region, as well as in Central America, Mexico, and the Caribbean, the growth of these flows was more noticeable than in South America, where among the Andean countries, there is even a decrease in the annual rate at the end of 2020.


Friday, May 14

Presentation of the Seminar
Salvador Bonilla, CEMLA

General view and Mexico

René Maldonado, Coordinator of the Remittances and Financial Inclusion Program

Lisbeth Leyva, Banco de México

Questions and answers
Moderator: Salvador Bonilla, CEMLA

South America and Central America

Camila Agudelo, Banco de la República (Colombia)

Víctor Flores, Banco de Guatemala

The vision of the private sector
Hugo Cuevas, International Money Transfer Conferences

Questions and answers
Moderador: Salvador Bonilla, CEMLA

Closing of the Seminar


Lisbeth Leyva Marín, Banco de México

Camila Agudelo Rivera, Banco de la República (Colombia)

Víctor Flores, Banco de Guatemala

Hugo Cuevas Mohr, International Money Transfer Conferences (IMTC)

René Alberto Maldonado Gonzáles, CEMLA


Salvador Bonilla Leal, CEMLA