How much money do migrants send to loved ones back home - ForumDaily
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How much money do migrants send to loved ones back home?

Organization Объединеных Наций reveals unknown facts about the remittances made by migrants across the globe. Such transfers are small but significant contributions to sustainable development around the world.

Send or transfer money - message in bottle on beach

Photo: iStock.com/bunhill

June 16 is celebrated as International Family Remittance Day in recognition of the fundamental contributions of workers -migrants into the lives of their families and communities back home.

1. About every ninth person in the world receives support from funds sent home by migrant workers

Currently, about one billion people in the world, or one in seven, are in one way or another connected with money transfers by sending or receiving them.

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About 800 million people in the world, or one in nine, are recipients of these cash flows sent by family members who migrated looking for work.

2. What migrants send home is only 15% of what they earn.

On average, migrant workers send home $200-$300 every month or two, which is only 15% of what they earn.

The remaining 85% stay in the countries where they actually make money. They are reinvested into the local economy or saved.

3. Money transfers are still not cheap

International money transfers are usually an expensive transaction. On average worldwide, currency conversion and fees account for 7% of the total amount sent.


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4. The money raised plays a key role in helping millions of poor people.

Although the money sent represents only 15% of the money migrants earn in receiving countries, it often makes up the bulk of total household income in countries of origin. As such, this money represents a lifeline for millions of families.

“It's not about the money sent home, it's about the impact on people's lives,” explains Gilbert F. Hungbo, president of the International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD). “The small sums of $200 or $300 that each migrant sends home amount to about 60% of the family’s income. It makes a huge difference in their lives and the communities they live in.”

An estimated 75% of remittances are used to cover basic necessities: food and medical needs, school fees or housing costs. Additionally, during crises, migrant workers send more money home to cover crop losses or family emergencies.

The rest, about 25% of remittances, amounts to more than $100 billion a year. It can either be saved or invested in creating assets or activities that generate income, create jobs and transform the economy, especially in rural areas.

5. Remittances help achieve at least 7 points out of 17 SDGs

When migrants send money home, they contribute to achieving several goals set out in the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development (SDG).

In particular:

  • eliminating poverty;
  • zero hunger;
  • good health and well-being;
  • quality education;
  • clean water and sanitation;
  • decent work and economic growth;
  • reducing inequality.

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If current trends continue, between 2015 and 2030 (the 2030 Agenda timeframe), approximately $8,5 trillion will be transferred from migrants to their communities of origin in developing countries. Of this amount, more than $2 trillion will be either saved or invested. This is a key aspect of sustainable development.

6. Half of the money sent goes directly to rural areas, where the world's poorest people live

About half of the world's remittances go to rural areas, where three-quarters of the world's food-insecure poor live. Experts estimate that accumulated investment flows into rural areas worldwide will reach $1 trillion over the next five years.

7. Remittances are three times more important than international aid, and their number continues to grow

Remittances are a private source of capital that is more than three times the amount of official development assistance and foreign direct investment combined.

In 2018, more than 200 million migrant workers sent home $689 billion to countries dependent on remittances. Of this amount, $529 billion went to developing countries.

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