Migrants sent $173 billion to their home countries in 2005, UN meeting told

29 June 2006

The total amount of remittances sent home to developing countries by workers abroad reached $173 billion in 2005, $6 billion more than previously estimated, a senior World Bank official today told a United Nations symposium on migration taking place this week in Turin, Italy.

If remittances flowing through highly informal channels are taken into account, the total would likely reach around $250 billion to developing countries, and $350 billion worldwide, according to World Bank Senior Economist Dilip Ratha.

Speaking at a workshop on the second day of the International Symposium on Migration and Development, Mr. Ratha indicated that when these funds are relayed through banks or microfinance institutions in poor countries, they bolster bodies that are well suited to support finance for development, while providing a secure repository for recipients.

On a broader scale, the arrival of remittances strengthens national balance of payments and reduces the ratio of debt to exports, making developing countries more credit worthy, officials at the UN event said.


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