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$61B sent back to region

marciadottin, [email protected]

$61B sent back to region

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Remittances to the region have increased but the overall picture for Latin America and the Caribbean is a fluctuating one.
A new Multilateral Investment Fund (MIF) report entitled Remittances To Latin America And The Caribbean In 2003: Still Below Pre-Crisis Levels said “last year the region received a total of US$61.3 billion sent by migrants to their countries of origin”.
The MIF is a member of the Inter-American Development Bank Group and in its document the organisation pointed out that “in 2013, remittances to Central America and the Caribbean increased over the previous year while remittance flows to South America and Mexico declined, resulting in flat growth for the region as a whole”.
Mexico remains the largest recipient of remittances in the region, with US$21.6 billion, followed by Guatemala (US$5.1 billion), Colombia (US$4.1 billion), El Salvador (“just under” US$4.0 billion), the Dominican Republic (US$3.3 billion).
MIF general manager Nancy Lee said “remittance flows to Latin America and the Caribbean remain an important source of income for millions of poor and vulnerable families.
“Remittance recipients need more access to financial tools that will help them use remittances to save and make investments for their future in areas like education, housing, and starting and growing businesses,” she added.
The report observed that “as this sector has evolved, there is an increasingly wide variety of services available to remittance senders, allowing them to make transfers using bank accounts and debit and credit cards”.
However, it also pointed out that “in many countries in the region, cash withdrawals are still the prevailing option for receiving remittances, showing that financial institutions have business opportunities to offer payment and savings products tailored to customers’ needs and preferences”. (PR/SC)