LATIN AMERICA / THE CARIBBEAN
Remittances reach a record high
Latinamerica Press 6/17/2015
Remittances from migrants to their home countries recovered their level of growth.
The remittances received in Latin America and the Caribbean in 2014 reached record highs, totaling US$65.4 billion, 5 percent more than the year before, according to the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB).
The Multilateral Investment Fund (MIF), part of the IDB, revealed in a report published in May that the remittances to the region exceeded by about $500 million to those received in 2008.
“Ever since the 2008-2009 international financial crisis and up until 2013, remittances sent to the Latin American and Caribbean region had been unable to regain sufficient growth to surpass or at least equal the levels observed in 2008, the year in which remittances attained their historic peak. By December 2014, however, total annual remittances sent to the region not only were higher compared with the previous year but also in relation to 2008,” said the inform titled “Remittances to Latin America and the Caribbean set a new record high in 2014”.
According to the MIF, the sharpest drop in remittance flows to the region in the last 15 years occurred in 2009 as a result to the international financial crisis. That year the remittances fell more than 10 percent after several years of sustained growth. In the following years, the remittances recovered slightly and stabilized without growth in 2013.
“Remittances remain an important source of income for millions of families in Latin America and the Caribbean”, said Fernando Jiménez-Ontiveros, Acting General Manager of the MIF. “The remittances sector has evolved by adopting new technologies and options for sending and receiving, and has seen a decline in fees. However, it is essential to continue working so that those who receive them have opportunities for savings and investment.”
The MIF states that remittances continue to represent a very important source of currency for many countries in the region. For nations like El Salvador, Guyana, Haiti, Honduras and Nicaragua, remittances account for more than 15 percent of their gross domestic product.
The money flows sent by migrants are a vital source of income for the families in their country of origin who spend the money to cover the cost of basic needs such as clothing, healthcare and food. —Latinamerica Press.
LATIN AMERICA/THE CARIBBEAN
Total amount of remittances (in US$ million)
Source: Inter-American Development Bank. Compartir