A couple of weeks back at the International Forum on Remittances, a study was released which reported that global foreign remittances in 2006 totaled three times all aid provided by donor nations to developing countries (as reported by OECD). Global remittances totaled more than $300B while donor aid was $104B. Remittances even topped foreign direct investment in developing countries which totaled $167B (reported by the Institute of International Finance).
Remittances are the money transfers that foreign workers in developing countries send home to their family and relatives. Most of the transfers are between $100 and $300 at a time.
Remittances to India topped the list at $24.5B, followed by Mexico at $24.2B; China, $21B and the Philippines and Russia, $13.7B each.
And, guess what is growing the fastest? Your right, remittances!
This tells me that even if foreign does rise, it is likely to become an increasingly smaller contributor to capital transfer to developing countries and can never match the growing impact that migrant workers are having on the shifts in global capital.
How about we encourage easier, more secure and better priced options for people to send money back to their home countries? For many people, an ATM or Paypal or a mobile money transfer option would be a welcome solution.
I first read about this in the Philippine Daily Inquirer. Yes, I was in the Philippines last week ;-)