Migration has grown in importance in the Europe and Central Asia (ECA) region over the last decade, with remittances increasingly contributing to foreign exchange earnings, economic growth, and poverty reduction throughout the region.
Increasingly, a large share of the labor force in many Commonwealth of Independent States (CIS) countries resides abroad. The economic contractions in Russia and Kazakhstan have therefore become the major source of concern to CIS countries, whose Governments are now seeking ways to cushion their economies from potential adverse effects.
At the end of 2015, the cost of sending remittances to Eastern Europe and Central Asia (ECA) was 6.48, lower than the global average recorded at 7.37 percent for the same time period. The average for ECA is particularly low because most countries in the region receive remittances from Russia, which is a market with extremely low cost.
The World Bank also monitors the cost of sending money to ECA countries, excluding Russia as a sending market: the average, excluding Russia, was recorded at 7.51 percent.