Parsi Legend Quoted in the World Bank 2023 World Development Report


May 26, 2023

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The annual World Development Report, 2023 by the World Bank quotes a Parsi legend, points to human migration for several thousand years and advocates policy changes to deal with migrants and refugees



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. But what lies ahead?

As the world struggles to cope with global economic imbalances, diverging demographic trends, and climate change, migration will become a necessity in the decades to come for countries at all levels of income. If managed well, migration can be a force for prosperity and can help achieve the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals.

World Development Report 2023 proposes an integrated framework to maximize the development impacts of cross-border movements on both destination and origin countries and on migrants and refugees themselves. The framework it offers, drawn from labor economics and international law, rests on a “match and motive” matrix that focuses on two factors: how closely migrants’ skills and attributes match the needs of destination countries and what motives underlie their movements. This approach enables policy makers to distinguish between different types of movements and to design migration policies for each. International cooperation will be critical to the effective management of migration.

On page 6 of the report you find….


“The priestly leaders of the Parsis were brought before the local ruler, Jadhav Rana, who presented them with a vessel full of milk to signify that the surrounding lands could not possibly accommodate any more people. The Parsi head priest responded by slipping some sugar into the milk to signify how the strangers would enrich the local community without displacing them. They would dissolve into life like sugar dissolves in the milk, sweetening the society but not unsettling it. The ruler responded to the eloquent image and granted the exiles land and permission to practice their religion unhindered if they would respect local customs, and learn the local language, Gujarati.”

—Parsi Legend

You can read the entire report on the World Bank Website