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Rabat – Despite the COVID-19 crisis, Moroccans residing abroad continued to send remittances to their families back home. Data from Morocco’s Exchange Office show that remittances from Moroccan overseas increased by 2.2 % at the end of September.
Official figures indicate that remittances from the Moroccan diaspora reached MAD 50.5 billion ($5.52 billion), up by MAD 1 billion compared to the same period in 2019.
By September last year, money transfers from Moroccans residing abroad reached MAD 49.5 billion ($5.41 billion).
According to Morocco’s exchange office, the Moroccan diaspora achieved the highest amount of remittances ever sent to Morocco during the period from January to September in 2020.
In October, Morocco’s Bank Al-Maghrib expressed satisfaction with the “resilience” of remittances from MREs despite the pandemic.
The central bank Morocco said remittances from Morocans residing abroad would show “limited decrease of 5%” to MAD 61.5 billion or $6.6 billion.
The bank forecasts an improvement of 2.4% in terms of remittances from MREs next year. It also expects remittances to reach MAD 63 billion or $6.8 billion in 2021.
The number of Moroccans residing abroad is current;y estimated to be over five million.
Typically, members of the Moroccan diaspora like to visit the country during seasonal holidays. The number of Moroccans who visit their country during summer holidays reach over 2 million annually.
This year, however, the pandemic prevented overseas Moroccans from making the best of the seasonal holidays, including visiting their families in Morocco. the country during seasonal holidays, including summer.
On March 20, Morocco declared a state of emergency, closing its sea, land, and air borders, to contain the spread of the pandemic.
International travel only resumed in mid-July, when Morocco eased travel restrictions for Moroccans residing abroad.
In September, Morocco also opened its borders to both non-Moroccan tourists who have hotel reservations and foreing investors with invitations from Moroccan companies.
The measures seek to revive Morocco’s economy and tourism sector, which were severely hit by the COVID-19 pandemic.