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Majlis Podcast: Bad News For The Remittance-Dependent In Central Asia


Central Asian workers in Russia and elsewhere have been hit hard by the COVID-19 crisis and this has had a detrimental impact on the amount of money being sent home. (file photo)

On March 16, the Russian Central Bank released figures on money transfers that showed that there had been a decline in remittances to some Central Asian countries. Money being sent to Tajikistan, for example, dropped by 30 percent in 2020.

The news was expected but it was a reminder of the additional problems faced by countries in Central Asia, such as Tajikistan, Kyrgyzstan, and Uzbekistan, which are dependent on remittances.

The money Central Asian migrant laborers send from places like Russia has become essential for relatives back home. It also alleviates problems of unemployment and eases the responsibilities that these governments have to provide for their citizens.

On this week's Majlis Podcast, RFE/RL media-relations manager Muhammad Tahir moderates a discussion on the drop in remittances to Central Asia, what this means for migrant laborers from the region and their families back home, and how long the current situation might continue.

This week's guests are: from the United Kingdom, Irina Kuznetsova, a lecturer in Human Geography at the University of Birmingham; from Nur-Sultan, Kazakhstan, Caress Schenk, associate professor of Political Science at Nazarbayev University; and Bruce Pannier, the author of the Qishloq Ovozi blog.

Majlis Podcast: Bad News For The Remittance Dependent In Central Asia
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Listen to the podcast above or subscribe to the Majlis on iTunes or on Google Podcasts.

The Majlis Podcast expresses special thanks to Edward Lemon and the Oxus Society for their help with this episode.

About This Blog

Qishloq Ovozi is a blog by RFE/RL Central Asia specialist Bruce Pannier that aims to look at the events that are shaping Central Asia and its respective countries, connect the dots to shed light on why those processes are occurring, and identify the agents of change.

Content draws on the extensive knowledge and contacts of RFE/RL's Central Asian services but also allow scholars in the West, particularly younger scholars who will be tomorrow’s experts on the region, opportunities to share their views on the evolving situation at this Eurasian crossroad.

The name means "Village Voice" in Uzbek. But don't be fooled, Qishloq Ovozi is about all of Central Asia.

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