Last year migrant workers sent an estimated $80 billion to family members in their home countries. These transfers are mostly made by the poor to the poor and are used for consumer spending and investments in health, education, housing, and businesses. This huge—and rapidly growing—source of cross-border financial flows is capturing the attention of policy makers and practitioners concerned with economic development, poverty alleviation, labor mobility, and security issues. Private sector innovations and emerging technologies are driving the trend. Nevertheless, the impact of remittance flows on poverty is profoundly affected by public policy decisions regarding national security, financial regulation, immigration, and development policy coherence. As a result they are also increasingly being explicitly integrated into development strategies and practices.
On October 12, 2004 CGD hosted a panel discussion on remittances along with Development Alternatives Inc. The discussion was moderated by CGD President Nancy Birdsall. Experts featured on the panel were: Ernesto Armenteros, President, Grupo Quisqueyana; Devesh Kapur, Associate Professor, Harvard University and Non-Resident Fellow, Center for Global Development; You can read an unedited version of the transcript here.
You can read an unedited version of the transcript here.