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Overseas Bajans to the rescue

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Overseas Bajans to the rescue

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Bajans abroad are one of the most resilient sources of foreign exchange, a financial “lifeline” for Barbados in these depressing economic times, according to World Bank figures.
As the United States economy records anaemic growth and the Euro-zone battles financial crises in Greece, Italy, Spain and Portugal, overseas Barbadians have maintained a relatively steady pace of sending money home to relatives and other dependents, the figures show.
Remittances to Barbados amounted to almost US$500 million in the years after the global financial crisis struck countries. The worst economic and financial crisis since the Great Depression in the 1930s began in 2008 and in that year remittances to Barbados reached an all-time high of US$168 million, up from
US$147 million in 2007, indicated the World Bank. It was an increase of US$2 million over the year before.
But as the financial crisis deepened on Wall Street in New York, London and elsewhere, remittances fell by almost US$20 million, declining to US$49 million in 2009. However, in 2010 there was a rebound, according to the bank. Although the remittances didn’t return to 2008 levels, they rose to an estimated US$161 million last year. There were no preliminary estimates for this year.
Barbadian immigrants living mainly in the United States, the United Kingdom, Canada, Trinidad and Tobago and the rest of the Caribbean as well as in Australia and Germany remitted US$77 million during 2008-2010. That sum surpassed the amounts sent back to the country in the three years before the crisis. (TB)