There is rising concern in Europe that massive flows of refugees and migrants from Syria may be infiltrated by terrorist groups such as Da’esh. In recent months President Milos Zeman of the Czech Republic, Slovakia’s Prime Minister Robert Fico, and Italy’s Foreign Minister Paolo Gentiloni have all made public statements about the risk; and unfortunately attention is still being given to the fact that a Syrian passport – albeit a fake – was found by the body of one of the perpetrators of the Bataclan outrage in Paris.
The World Bank’s the Global Knowledge Partnership on Migration and Development (KNOMAD) program is a global hub of knowledge and policy expertise on migration and development issues. Among 13 TWGs, the Thematic Working Group on Internal Migration and Urbanization (TWG 12) aims to better understand the relationship between internal migration and development including rural/urban development, by identifying good practices that help develop sustainable livelihoods, create jobs in rural and urban areas and increase connectivity between rural and urban areas, while leveraging the migration process for poverty reduction and development. In this context, this call for papers aims to bring researchers to analyze and evaluate development policies which have influenced the outcome of internal migration, for migrants and their families, as well as for migrant host and sending communities.
Reducing remittance costs are recognized as a vital element of the financing for development strategy and is one of the targets in the Sustainable Development Goals and the Addis Ababa Action Agenda. However, studies show that remittances remain to be a private affair operating mostly at household level.
It is also expected that reduced costs would encourage use of formal channels such as banks and money transfer operators. There are increasingly more money transfer operators in the market offering lower costs among the mainstream MTOs and digital ones. Mobile phone companies and many small operators are also competing on costs. Dilip Ratha clearly puts the argument for reduced costs in his TED talk.
Nearly 60 million persons were forcibly displaced worldwide due to conflict and persecution at the end of 2014—the highest number since World War II. Forced displacement is not only a humanitarian issue, but also has important economic, social, political, and environmental impacts on the places of origin and destination. The development impacts of forced displacement, however, remain poorly understood. There is very limited work to date on the socioeconomic impact of refugees on host and regional economies. Social scientists have largely neglected these important policy and conceptual challenges, in contrast to the countless qualitative studies on refugee livelihoods. As the number of protracted displacement situations is increasing, the lack of rigorous impact assessments is a major gap that needs to be filled. Recently, a number of calls for proposals on the topic have been issued and case studies have been undertaken by the World Bank, UNHCR, independent researchers, and other actors. Efforts have also been made to develop a coherent methodology on how to measure the impacts of forced displacement.
MENA has always had low private investment both domestic and foreign. However, the political and economic unrests post the ‘Arab Spring’ raised the necessity of a dynamic and growing private sector than ever before. The dominant economic role of the public sector in MENA cannot endure, especially with the escalating unemployment rates, budget deficits, heavy dependence on food and manufactured imports, vulnerability to oil and foreign currency swings besides the challenging social and political environments.