The July/August issue of Foreign Policy has a short feature highlighting the "dark side" of remittances. It cites an IMF study which argues:
A slowdown in the growth of remittances to Mexico has been a cause for concern as these flows (mostly from the United States) provide a lifeline to a large number of Mexican families.
El día 18 deJunio de 2008 se aprobó la directiva de retorno en el Parlamento Europeo. Esta directiva constituye el primer paso hacia una política común de inmigración para inmigrantes ilegales procedentes de países no comunitarios. La directiva entraría en vigencia el año 2010.
According to this article in Globe and Mail, new data from the Canadian government shows that four in 10 Canadians are sending money to family and friends abroad. Also interesting to note:
"In Canada, where one in five people are born outside the country, about $5-billion is sent in remittances a year, according to Western Union, one of the world's largest money transfer firms."
The World Bank released a revised set of estimates for remittance flows for 2007 (excel data). These estimates show that remittance flows to developing countries were $251 billion in 2007, some 5 percent higher than earlier estimates and 11 percent higher than the previous year.
I'm originally from a small village in India. There is no doubt that many of the people I knew growing up were able to survive because of the money their relatives sent back home to purchase the most basic staples. In development jargon, this money is known as remittances, but from my point of view, this money was a lifeline.
Migrant remittances provide a lifeline to the poor in many countries. Migration and remittances will continue to increase with globalization. The policy agenda on remittances and that on migration overlap a great deal, but the overlap is not complete. Remittances provide the most tangible and least controversial link between migration and development. They can play an effective role in reducing poverty, and they provide a convenient angle for approaching the complex migration agenda.