According to World Bank (WB) by the end of 2013, migrants from developing countries alone are expected to send home 414 billion US dollars, a 6.3 percent increased from the previous year. This is projected to rise to 540 billion US dollars by 2016.
River of cash flowing into developing countries, from Indian subcontinent to Sub-Saharan Africa, from Latin America to Fareast Asia and Balkans: Remittances accounted approximately from 15 to 20 percent of GDP in Bosnia and Herzegovina, Haiti, Jordan, Lesotho, the Republic of Moldova, and Tonga.
Bosnia depends on her diaspora
“According to the Central Bank of Bosnia and Herzegovina, annual remittances inflow amounts between 1 and 1.5 billion Euros. Total foreign currency inflow to Bosnia from abroad, which includes foreign pensions amounts to over 1.8 billion Euros annually,” Ms. Aiša Telalović, from the Ministry of human rights and refugees at the Council of Ministers of Bosnia and Herzegovina, told AA.
She said Bosnia is among first 15 countries in the world by the rates of emigrants in relations with the total population. According to WB figures, 38.9 % of all Bosnians live abroad. “Bosnia is second developing country in Europe only after Albania when it comes to emigrated residents of any European state,” Telalović told AA, adding that the “brain-drain” (emigration of intellectuals) in whole Balkans is high, but in Bosnia is too high, with 24.5 %, according to the World Bank figures.
Ms. Aiša Telalović explained what does it mean for a small post-conflict country, to receive remittances from a huge diaspora on the regular basis:
“Annual volume of remittances transferred by diaspora to Bosnia and Herzegovina is six times higher than the overall foreign direct investment (FDI), and three times higher than the official development assistance (OSA),” she told AA.
Strong economic engine
“The total amount of remittances to Bosnia is three times higher than whole developing aid that Bosnia and Herzegovina receivies from European Union, United Nations and all others who are helping our country,”, Telalović told AA.
Bosnian assistant minister said in the course of the last few years, the remittances have amounted between 7 and 15% of Bosnia and Herzegovina's overall GDP.
Still, according to this Bosnian official “retained savings held by Bosnia and Herzegovina diaspora members in the developed host countries is four times higher than the overall amount of remittances they sent home.”
The high level meeting in New York concluded as well -- migrants alone help more to the poor countries of their origin than United Nations does through its various ad-hoc or -- what should be systematic pledges. Migrant earnings were nearly four times the 126 billion dollars in official development assistance (ODA) from rich to poor nations in 2012, according to figures released by the United Nations.
More 230 million international migrants globally are part of economic engine in some parts of the world, but also – chief contributors for the well being of their countries of origin, the United Nations two-day high-level dialogue on migrations concluded Friday in New York.
Anti-emigrant sentiments still worry
The two-day dialogue meeting included the presentations by UN member states, NGO’s and other participants at the panel discussions on specific issues such as the links between migration and sustainable development.
Appealing on collective responsibility “to make migration work for the benefit of migrants,” and their countries -- UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon called Thursday – the rights of millions of migrants – to be protected and measures on that to be implemented. Mr. Ban said global community should recognize migrants as respective contributors to society.
Mr. Ban told the high level meeting at the UN in New York – millions of migrants “through their courage, vitality and dreams, help make our societies more prosperous, resilient and diverse.”
But some analysts say it is unlikely the UN dialogue will result in anything more than nice words.
Even, the special representative of the UN Secretary General on International Migration and Development, Peter Sutherland, on Wednesday expressed concern and warned over the anti-migrant sentiment in many developed countries.
“Migration is a toxic subject and some of the liberal societies who were supportive in the early days of this issue have, as a result of electoral change … become negative about migration,” Sutherland said.
Condolences and hopes
In his remarks to the high level discussion on migrations, Ban Ki-moon also mentioned another migrant’s tragedy, noting the sinking of the migrant boat in heavy seas, near the coast of Sicily, on Thursday night.
UN chief said, one need to look no further than Thursday’s morning headlines – reporting of African migrants killed or gone missing off the coast of Italy – to see the “great importance” of this dialogue.
“I offer my deep condolences and hope that we all take this as another spur to action,” Ban Ki-moon said Thursday.