The Broader Look

Mysteries shroud higher ‘migra-dollars’ to major remittancereceiving countries
By JEREMAIAH M. OPINIANO MARCH 11, 2021

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Image credits: BM GRAPHICS: JOB RUZGAL

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OME call it olfactory memory. It’s what Rodel Guco, standing near where water
burbles on one of the shores of the seaport city of Valetta, Malta, says what his nose
remembers after brie y taking o

his face mask.

Guco (not his real name), also remembers the pungent smell of money, something his nose
also missed when he arrived in Malta late-February, 2020, from the United Arab Emirates.

That scent, however, wafted to hundreds of millions of families of migrant workers as, to the
surprise of many, central banks of major origin countries relying on foreign remittances
reported receiving higher dollar in ows in pandemic-hit 2020.
Indeed, it was a welcome surprise.
This pandemic era pushed to the limits the world’s over-250 million migrants, working and
residing in countries with millions to hundred thousand-and-ten thousand cases of SARSCoV-2 caseloads. Economists fretted over concerns that migrants abroad0:00
will5:07
get displaced
from work, and will therefore remit lesser amounts to their beleaguered home countries.

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