In a given year, developing countries may get $131 Billion in official aid, and another $431.6 Billion in remittances — money sent home by migrants who are working abroad.
That’s the astounding number in the World Bank’s new Migration and Development Brief. The total in remittances has been going up yearly and is expected to keep rising, the report predicts, though the rate of growth has slowed a bit because of the drop in oil prices, which affects money earned by migrants in oil-producing countries.
The way the money is spent in developing countries is a tremendous boon, Dilip Ratha, lead author of the brief and head of the Global Knowledge Partnership on Migration and Development says. A lot of it goes to meeting basic needs, like food, but it also is invested in “child education and health, maternal health, older people’s health” — and in local businesses.
For the family members, the money “is like a lifeline,” Ratha says. It can help break the “cycle of poverty”