Rising Migrant Remittances Helping the Developing World

Pakistan reported over 20 per cent growth in remittances from overseas Pakistanis during the first 8 months of fiscal 2007-8. The country ranked number 12 in the world with over $4b in this period. High oil prices and strong economies in the oil-exporting Middle Eastern countries are contributing to strong demand for migrant laborers.

According to a report titled "Remittance Trends 2007" by the World Bank , the flow of remittance globally continues with a robust growth with developing countries taking the lead as major recipients. The growth of remittances to developing countries remains robust because of strong growth in Europe, Middle East and Asia.

Total global remittances in 2007 were estimated by the World Bank to be $318bn of which $240bn went to people in developing countries.

"In many developing countries, remittances provide a life-line for the poor," the World Bank's senior economist Dilip Ratha told the BBC. "They are often an essential source of foreign exchange and a stabilizing force for the economy in turbulent times."

In 2007, Indian workers sent back $27bn (£13.6bn), according to new figures from the World Bank. The other countries in the top five were China with $25.7bn, Mexico's $25bn, the Philippines at $17bn and France with $12.5bn.

The top country from which money was sent was the US with $42bn in recorded outward flows. It was followed by Saudi Arabia, Switzerland and Germany.

Global remittances from migrants are now three times as large as the flows of official government aid to developing countries.

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