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Primer on remittances

Global recorded remittances to developing countries reached $204 billion in 2006. This amount, which has been growing at almost 30 percent a year, is twice the size of total development aid.

Remittances hold a big promise for development but a lack of transparency and a high volume of unrecorded money flows, pose security risks and keep the costs high.

Goodbye TV ads, hello cell phone messages

Nokia_cell_phoneThe 2.5 billion mobile phones around the world can potentially reach a much bigger audience than the planet's billion or so personal computers. The number of mobile phones in use is also growing much faster than the number of computers, especially in poorer countries.