The pitfalls of Sri Lanka’s remittance economy (East Asia Forum)

The post-millennium surge in global remittances — amounting to a net transfer of US$689 billion to the global south in 2019 — has courted significant policy attention around prospects for ‘migration-development’. The World Bank and the Migration Policy Institute have heralded temporary labour migration as a ‘triple win’: a win for migrant workers, for the countries they hail from and for the countries they work in, with remittances positioned as the pivotal boon for migrant households and countries of origin. The argument assumes that remittances allow poor households to overcome poverty and make investments while providing much needed foreign exchange earnings at a macroeconomic level.

Author: Matt Withers, Macquarie University

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