Migrant Remittances

Migrant remittances are recognized to be a very significant channel through which diasporas currently contribute to local development and poverty alleviation in their countries of origin. Net remittances for all developing countries have grown significantly in recent years, from just over US$ 74 billion in 2000 to US$ 200 billion in 2007. In the last twenty years, remittance flows have continuously increased.

The potential for development of collective remittances, donations, savings, start-up or business investments is strong: these financial flows contribute to creating a more sustainable form of poverty reduction as they can attract additional investment. These major facts tend to indicate that remittances can contribute to the achievement of the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs).

While reviewing the impact of remittances on development of countries of origin, it is crucial to stress that remittances are private flows produced and owned by migrants who respond to personal needs and incentives. As such they cannot be appropriated and aggregated by governments. This has implications for policy formulation and action. In particular, remittances do not reduce the need for official development aid and foreign direct investments.

Highlighted below are documents and projects related to migrant remittances, as well as organizations working in this area.