Almost a year ago I was on my way to one of the most wonderful adventures I have ever experienced. It happened with a youth initiative called COJDECA (an acronym that translates to the Youth Council for the Development of Cerro Alto), located in rural Guatemala. It was an opportunity to truly understand what youth empowerment is all about and its high potential to improve living conditions in, I would say, any country of the world. It was also an occasion to see how cooperation among people from different countries is a key factor for development.
Here’s something interesting to think about: are the arrangements of chromosomes to blame for this rut of a global crisis that we are currently struggling to stay afloat in, or is it just mere coincidence?
For my last blog I got a very interesting comment:
“It is very well served to make motivational statements…..Equally clichéd are statements like someone has to begin somewhere- the fact is that little concrete is ever achieved.”
One of the major features of public discussion around the current global financial crisis is that the language of macro-economics is dominant. Different theories of macro-economics are being used to shape policy prescriptions, and these prescriptions are being shouted at policy makers. I suppose policy makers have to take Macro-economics 101 in order to be effective in their roles. Which is fine. But what about citizens?
We have revised our forecasts for remittance flows to developing countries in the light of a downward revision to the World Bank’s global economic outlook (see our latest Migration and Development Brief 9). We now expect a sharper decline of 5 to 8 percent in 2009 (see figure 1 and table 1 below) compared to our earlier projections.
This decline in nominal dollar terms is small relative to the projected fall in private capital flows or official aid to developing countries. However, considering that officially recorded remittances registered double-digit annual growth in the past few years to reach an estimated $305 billion in 2008, an outright fall in the level of remittance flows as projected now will cause hardships in many poor countries.
South-South remittances from Russia, South Africa, Malaysia and India are especially vulnerable to the rolling economic crisis. Also the outlook remains uncertain for remittance flows from the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) countries. Both low-income and middle-income countries are expected to see a similar decline – about 5 percent – in remittance inflows in 2009. Although newspapers are reporting a large number of migrants returning home, new migration flows are still positive, implying that the stock of existing migrants continues to increase. The persistence of the migrant stock will contribute to the persistence (or resilience) of remittance flows in the face of the crisis. Box 1 below outlines the reasons for expecting remittances to remain resilient during the crisis.
The World Bank has launched its new study on Poverty “Moving Out of Poverty: Success from the Bottom Up”, which continues the work started with the excellent “Voices of the Poor”, published in 2000.
With the release last week of its latest quarterly assessment of the Chinese economy, the World Bank lowered its projection for China's GDP growth to 6.5 percent in 2009, yet remained optimistic that the country's economy has started to show signs of stabilizing amid global financial turmoil.
The smaller economies of Bangladesh, Nepal, and Sri Lanka continue to show optimism for their economies based on good remittance inflows and export indicators that demonstrate strong growth in 2008. Policymakers have used these statistics as evidence to believe that they have been relatively unaffected by the current global downturn.
- Fridays Academy