The World Bank said that approximately 184 million people, which is about 2.3 percent of the world’s population, live outside their home country.
In its World Development Report 2023, the World Bank shed light on the growing difficulties of migration, channelling more attention to issues of economic imbalances, demographic shifts, and climate change impacts.
It said, “Migration is a development challenge. About 184 million people—2.3 percent of the world’s population—live outside of their country of nationality. Almost half of them are in low- and middle-income countries.”
The bank noted that migration will increasingly become a necessity for countries across income levels. It proposes a framework to utilise the huge potential of cross-border movements, aiming to benefit both destination and origin countries, as well as the migrants and refugees themselves.
In the report, a key aspect highlighted is the distinction between various types of movements. The report suggests that when people move to a new country, we should make sure their skills match what that country needs. It’s also important to understand why they’re moving. This way, leaders can create better rules for how people move to different places.
“The main difference between a migrant and a non-migrant is citizenship,” states the World Bank. “Once migrants are naturalised in a country, they face similar challenges and opportunities as other citizens, though sometimes with added difficulties experienced by national minorities.”
Moreover, the report stresses the importance of international cooperation in managing migration effectively. It suggests that maximising the benefits of migration requires recognising the diversity of movements and providing appropriate policy responses tailored to these differences.
“We need to maximise the gains when migrants bring skills that match the needs of their destination society,” urges the report, emphasising the potential positive impacts on both the destination and origin countries.
Recognising the significance of providing sustainable international protection to refugees, the report highlights that most refugee situations endure for many years and require long-term support.
To manage migration strategically, the report recommends that origin countries incorporate labour migration into their development strategies. Meanwhile, destination countries should use migration that closely matches their labour needs.
Lastly, the report calls for distinct approaches to managing cross-border movements. It advocates for bilateral cooperation to align migrants’ skills with destination economies, regional and global responses to address refugee movements, and the development of predictable financing mechanisms.