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Philippines and Indonesia face risk of record remittance fall

Inflows from US and Middle East may plunge, hitting vital source of income

Filipinos, seen here at a remittance counter in Makati City in Manila, are expected to suffer the most from a fall in remittances from overseas as the coronavirus pandemic leads to job losses and pay cuts.    © Reuters

JAKARTA -- The coronavirus pandemic has already disrupted the lives of poor people in Southeast Asia, but it threatens to deal a further blow by cutting a vital source of income -- remittances.

The World Bank said in a recent report that global remittances are projected to fall by the widest margin in history this year, as migrant workers suffer wage cuts and job losses. Remittance flows to the East Asia and Pacific region, which includes the Southeast Asian nations, is slated to fall by 13% this year from $147 billion in 2019.

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