International remittances in the first quarter of 2022 clocked in at US$629,6 million as citizens abroad continue to support families back home.
In the period under review, remittances grew by 27 percent in comparison with the same period in 2021 which saw international remittances reach US$493,9 million.
This was revealed by the Ministry of Finance permanent secretary Dr George Guvamatanga at a 7-year credit facility worth EUR12,5 million signing ceremony between the European Investment Bank (EIB) and First Capital Bank at Meikles Hotel.
Economic analyst Tinevimbo Shava commenting on the remittances said, “We expect this trend as the country has exported labour throughout the world in the previous six to seven months, meaning that the country might reach a new high on remittances this year.”
Statistics from the Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe show that diaspora remittances surged from about US$$1 billion in 2020 to US$1.4 billion in 2021 as the country hit record high foreign currency inflows of US$9.7 billion during that period.
Dr Guvamatanga however acknowledged that the country was facing challenges with inflation and currency volatility. “However, despite the increase in remittances, the country is facing challenges of rising inflation and local currency volatility, partly due to pass-through effects of global shocks,” he said.
The permanent secretary vowed that Treasury knows of these problems and they are going to deal with them, saying government is very much committed to address the current challenges that are in the economy.
The food supply is particularly at risk as the Russia – Ukraine war has disrupted crucial grain shipments from Ukraine and Russia and worsened a global fertilizer crunch that will mean costlier, less abundant food.
The loss of affordable supplies of wheat and other grains raises the prospect of food shortages in African countries where millions rely on subsidised bread and cheap noodles.
Vegetable oil prices hit a record high in February, then increased another 23 percent in March, according to the U.N. Food and Agriculture Organization. Soybean oil, which sold for US$765 per metric ton in 2019, was averaging US$1,957 per metric ton in March, the World Bank said – Harare