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Sharp Drop in Remittances from Cambodia’s Migrant Workers

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Phnom Penh: 4 June 2021: The pandemic appears to have hit Cambodia’s migrant workers hard. The National Bank of Cambodia says the country received $1.2 billion in remittances from migrant workers last year. That’s a 17% drop from the $1.5 billion reported in 2019.

All major sources of remittances to the Kingdom reported a drop in transactions. Malaysia’s was the biggest at 51%. South Korea reported a 30% drop, with Thailand and Japan reporting decreases of 11% and 4% respectively.

According to the National Bank, the pandemic has played havoc with economic activity and businesses, reducing demand for labour. In a statement it says: “Many Cambodian migrants returned home, and only a small number of new migrants were allowed to migrate during the pandemic. The number of Cambodian migrant workers in 2020 was 1.2 million, which was an eight per cent decrease from 1.3 million migrants in 2019.”

According to reports, there are approximately one million Cambodians who receive remittances from their migrant worker relatives abroad. The drop in the number of transactions means many of them have not been receiving the money they rely on.

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