China's trade, aid and investment linkages with Africa have increased exponentially in the last few years.
On this International Migrants Day, I would like to focus on female migrants and labor migration policies that affect them.
I took a one day field trip to Arlington, Virginia last summer to observe how international migrant women contribute to development in their home countries, particularly through remittances and tapping the skills of diaspora communities.
Today marks the celebration of the unquestionable contribution and sacrifices that many international migrants make to both destination and origin countries. Migrants work hard, fill jobs that are needed, and send a large portion of their earnings to support their families at home. Despite all of their contributions, native populations’ opinion and the policies developed by their governments continue to be mixed.
Today is International Migrants Day. Standing in the middle of a global crisis, worried that many countries facing harsh economic realities might make matters harsher for migrants, let me reiterate a few points that I have made before:
|Photo © William Lane/World Bank|
Sea-level rise is not a phenomenon of increasing frequency, but rather increasing magnitude in a persistent and continuous way. The effect of climate change is most palpably felt in small, low-lying island states such as Panza Island, the southernmost island off Pemba in Tanzania. Farming and fishing are the main means of livelihood. Significant parts of the island, especially the lower elevation southeastern side, are inundated by seawater bimonthly, during the spring cycles and most prominently during the diurnal flood tides. The local residents report up to four feet of water in some areas, which have only become vulnerable in the past year. Previously agricultural land can no longer be farmed. The area near the local school has been flooding for the past 15 years. Salt water has intruded into all the wells on the island, so drinking water has to now be piped in from a neighboring island.
One is used to seeing leaders of developing nations asking rich countries for aid and debt relief, requesting preferential trading arrangements, and courting western foreign investors. Making a case to a firmly middle-income country to take in their workers is perhaps something new!
You can only see Ismail’s profile in the BMW he is driving on a desert highway stretching from Doha to Dukhan. He speaks French. I don't. So he says, in English, pointing to the beautiful homes along the way, "those are the new houses of the big people from Doha."
What a moment in history! As soon as Obama was projected to be the next president of the United States of America, countless migrant mothers (I know one!) patted their children and said, with tears in the eyes, "You too have a chance to be the president of this great country!" Seems to me that overnight America has become more inviting to the immigrants. Has it? Will Obama follow through with his campaign promise, or will he change his stance? Should he? What would that mean from a development point of view?
Last week, we released a new brief, "Protecting Temporary Workers: Migrant Welfare Funds from Developing Countries." This note describes how countries of origin governments can play a major role in protecting their migrants abroad through migrant welfare funds. It shows that a welfare fund operated from the origin country and financed by migrants or their employers can offer a potential efficient solution to protecting migrants from vulnerable situations abroad.&n
In collaboration with the African Development Bank, the World Bank is undertaking a comprehensive study of migration and remittances in Sub-Saharan Africa and destination countries outside Africa. The World Bank Household Survey of Migrants is part of this effort, and will be conducted in 10 countries (Burkina Faso, Ethiopia, Kenya, Lesotho, Mali, Nigeria, Senegal, South Africa, Ivory Coast, and Uganda).