Europe top beneficiary of its own migrant remittances

European remittances help support 150 million people in poorer European countries.

Europe top beneficiary of its own migrant remittances

World Bulletin / News Desk

Migrant workers in Europe sent home almost $110 billion last year and the main destinations were other European countries, receiving more than a third of the total sum, a United Nationsagency report showed on Monday.

Most of the remittances flowed from wealthier European countries to poorer ones, it said, despite a big influx of African and Middle Eastern migrants into Europe. More than 600,000 people sought refugee status in Europelast year and more than 100,000 have arrived by boat alone so far in 2015.

Europe has only 10 percent of the world's population but 20 percent of all migrant workers and makes 25 percent of all remittances, the International Fund for Agriculture and Development (IFAD) said in its report, entitled "Sending Money Home: European flows and markets".

IFAD's report said 26 European countries had a per capita annual GDP above $20,000 and so are considered countries where migrants go to work, while 19 are below and are recipients of $36.5 billion in remittances, mostly from Europe.

The report, which is based on World Bank data, said 10 European Union countries are among those that receive remittances, including HungaryPoland and RomaniaRussia, which is classified as a European, not an Asian country, is the top "sender" country in the region.

Large numbers of people from former Soviet republics ranging from Moldova to Tajikistan have found work in Russian cities.

"European migrant remittances supported 150 million people around the world last year, which is the population of France and Germany combined," IFAD's president, Kanayo Nwanze, told reporters.

 

"CRITICAL LIFELINE"

Given the migration crisis, with hundreds of thousands seeking refuge from war and violence or escape from poverty and misery in Europe, IFAD urged European policymakers to foster competition among money transfer companies to lower the costs of sending money home and increase savings or investments.

"These flows constitute a critical lifeline for millions of individual households, helping families raise their living standards above subsistence and vulnerability levels, with improved health, education, housing and levels of entrepreneurship," the report said.

After other European countries, countries in Asia and the Pacific region received $34.9 billion in remittances from Europe last year and African countries $23.1 billion, IFAD said.

Though a great help to developing countries, total remittances are not a major drain on the 26 European sender countries, the report said, because they amount to less than 0.7 percent of their gross domestic product.

Güncelleme Tarihi: 15 Haziran 2015, 17:22
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