Thursday, December 20, 2007


Source: The Economist

"Total global remittances from workers to their families will reach $318 billion in 2007, up from $170 billion in 2002. Most of the money goes to developing countries, which will receive $240 billion this year—more than double the value of foreign aid. The three countries getting the most are India, China and Mexico, which together account for nearly a third of remittances to the developing world. However, Mexico has been affected by the economic slowdown in the United States and its previous rapid growth of inflows slowed to a trickle this year. The largest recipient region is Latin America and the Caribbean, but since 2002 transfers to Europe and Central Asia have increased the fastest."

Comment: I recently noted that, according to the OECD, official development assistance from the OECD members is over $100 billion. But when aid from other countries and the private sector are added in the total is about $180 billion, or three-quarters of remittances to developing nations. In spite of the clarification, the remittances do dwarf foreign aid.

However, the remittances are even more unevenly distributed than the foreign aid, and the remittances flowing to the least developed nations are much less than they need.

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