In 2018, International Development Association (IDA) countries were home to 21 million economic migrants, and outward migration from IDA countries numbered 53 million. In Sub-Saharan Africa, intra-regional emigration is close to 70 percent of all emigration, which represents the largest South-South movement of people in the world. Economic migration is driven by income (and employment) gaps, inequality, demographic imbalances, and environmental changes. IDA engages directly with the push and pull factors of migration in IDA countries (mostly in Africa), including reducing poverty, creating economic opportunities, building human capital, strengthening of government capacity to deliver services to citizens, preventing and mitigating fragility risks, and helping people adapt to climate shocks.
IDA18 focuses on helping IDA countries build modern labor market institutions that can facilitate labor market matching and worker mobility, while managing the policies and practice of migration. A policy commitment was made to adopt a ‘migration lens’ in IDA countries where migration has a significant economic and social impact (including home, host, and transit countries). At the IDA18 mid-term review and the launch of IDA19 in Zambia in November 2018, it was requested to strengthen interlinkages across themes, pay attention to challenges of migration and issues of demographics.
Building on progress in IDA18, IDA19 targets remaining gaps, such as filling knowledge gaps in data and providing support for operations that focus on job creation, managing legal economic migration, and integrating economic migrants in host communities as well as leveraging migration and remittance for development. During the IDA19 Second Replenishment Meeting in June 2019, participants highlighted the challenge of economic migration due to lack of economic opportunities and agreed to explore ways to enhance IDA programming with a migration lens. Participants also urged IDA Management to further strengthen interlinkages across special themes, paying attention to challenges of migration and disability inclusion in IDA recipient countries. Under IDA19, the Bank’s medium-term work program to address migration issues are discussed under the following special themes: Jobs and Economic Transformation (JET), Climate Change , fragility, conflict and violence (FCV) , and gender and development (See Figure below). A recent Board Paper on Leveraging economic migration for development discussed IDA contribution on economic migration.