View Full Version : Remittances During Crises

09-25-2007, 02:45 PM
HPG, May 07: for access use link in Post No.2

Remittances, or migrants sending money home, are an important part of many people’s lives around the world. Globally, remittances are worth hundreds of billions of dollars. This means that they are substantially larger than flows of foreign direct investment and aid. Unlike other financial flows, remittances go directly into family incomes, and thus have an immediate and direct impact on the livelihoods of receiving households. Relatively little is known, however, about the role that remittances play in crises. They are thought to be counter-cyclical, increasing during periods of crisis and therefore playing an important role in enabling some people to survive during disasters, and recover after them. In countries affected by long-term crises, migration is often a key coping or survival strategy leading to large diasporas which play an important role in sustaining the livelihoods of those who remain.

A better understanding of the role that remittances play in crises has potentially important implications for humanitarian actors. There may be ways that humanitarian actors can support remittance flows and draw on remittance delivery systems to provide assistance. Remittances may also be disrupted during crises in ways that affect levels of vulnerability. This study makes a start in analysing the role that remittances play in crisis, how patterns of receipt and delivery change and adapt during and after disasters and how humanitarian actors can better understand and, where appropriate, support remittance flows. Case studies of remittances in Somaliland, Haiti, Aceh, Sri Lanka, Sudan and Pakistan were carried out. This report summarises the findings from these case studies and draws on a wider review of literature.....

09-26-2007, 06:37 AM
The link you provided didn't work, but this one did:


This is an interesting subject that doesn't get enough attention. The case I'm most familiar with is Eritrea, where remittances have essentially floated the economic boat through various crises. An interesting aspect is how the money gets transferred and it comes in all kinds of ways which makes it hard to track.

The wife of a colleague of mine, Jennifer Brinkerhoff, was recently named head of a new Diaspora Program at George Washington University's Elliott School of International Affairs. It's a new research and policy program focused on the influence of diaspora communities, including in conflict areas. (http://www.gstudynet.com/gwcsg/what/research/programs/diasporas.php) She's done some interesting research, as well as her husband (Derick Brinkerhoff) who's done some research on remittances in Iraq (http://www.gstudynet.com/gwcsg/docs/brinkerhoff/Brinkerhoff%20&%20Taddesse%20Iraq%20Diaspora-6-16-06.ppt)