Dollars Without Borders

Can the Global Flow of Remittances Survive the Crisis?

Courtesy Reuters

Between 2003 and 2008, on the back of a growing world economy, remittances more than doubled, reaching as much as $330 billion in 2008. Now, with the world's largest economies in steep decline, many fear that the flow of remittances will also take a hit, threatening the millions who depend on funds sent by relatives and friends working abroad to meet basic needs.

In fact, remittances are proving to be one of the more resilient pieces of the global economy in the downturn, and will likely play a large role in the economic development and recovery of many poor countries. Remittances provide the most tangible link between migration and development, a relationship that has only increased in importance since the crash. To ensure that these funds can move efficiently and easily around the globe, governments of rich and poor countries should attempt to make remittances as accessible and cheap as possible.

In the economic

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