MIGRANTS LEAVE A HUGE WORLDWIDE MONEY TRAIL
October 19, 2007
Migrants around the world sent $301 billion to family members back home last year, with India edging out Mexico as the world's top recipient, according to the International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD), a Rome-based U.N. agency.
According to the report's authors:
- India ($24.5 billion), Mexico ($24.3 billion) and China ($21.1 billion) received the most money, but the impact on their economies was more modest relative to their size, going from 0.8 percent of gross domestic product (GDP) for China to 2.9 percent for Mexico.
- By contrast, El Salvador got $3.3 billion, accounting for more than 18 percent of its GDP; the $2.3 billion received by Honduras represented almost a quarter of its GDP.
- In Latin America, the effect of remittances was less than 1 percent of GDP for Brazil, Venezuela, Chile and Argentina.
- Asia received $114 billion, followed by Latin America and the Caribbean with $68 billion.
- Europe -- excluding the wealthier nations in Western Europe -- obtained $51 billion, Africa $39 billion and the Near East $29 billion.
The money flow has become ''the world's most effective poverty alleviation program,'' said Donald Terry, a top official of the Inter American Development Bank (IDB). However, he also notes that, ``if you're No. 1 in remittances, you're not developing jobs in your local economy.''
Source: Pablo Bachelet, "Migrants sent $301 billion back home in 2006, study finds," Miami Herald, October 18, 2007.
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