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Interesting article in the Economist about migrants

(7 Posts)
Bleh Tue 13-Oct-09 10:44:04

They have noted from monitoring cash remittances to try and prevent terrorist financing that actually, migrants send more money to developing countries than international aid agencies and investors. They also noted that migrants who move to more liberal countries can influence the culture back at home, but pushing for increased regulation or transparency.

Apparently, this current economic crisis has proved a bit of a boom for some African countries like Nigeria, where a lot of expat professionals are now moving back after living and working in London and New York, bringing their skills and experiences with them (and hopefully pushing for development and less corruption).

allok Tue 13-Oct-09 19:49:16

Mmmms says alot about our level of 'aid' then...

SomeGuy Wed 14-Oct-09 02:24:10

As it says, most of the money goes to places that are 'developing' rather than 'third world'.

Of course aid might not go to the right people either, but remittances back home are likely to help the relatively well-off.

allok: you could alternatively say it says a lot about the level of immigration (illegal and otherwise).

stuffitllllama Wed 14-Oct-09 03:58:14

It's interested and complicated.

"remittances back home are likely to go to the relatively well off"

That's not true. If they are "relatively well off" it would be entirely because of the remitted income: without it there would often be destitition.

Money earned is usually better than money given: for a start there is no exective officer on 200 000 per annum, no local expat officer with a family to be housed and children schooled as international schools.

If remittances and work abroad carry the "cultural baggage" of western influence, so does aid.

If this turns into a debate I will be very interested to read it. Not everything is the fault of the "west". I've come to believe that so much of what is well-meaning can have counterproductive results.

stuffitllllama Wed 14-Oct-09 04:05:56

That's a very interesting link.

Bleh Wed 14-Oct-09 10:39:43

I found it intersting, as it could be an alternative to aid (which often ends up being misdirected, or being funnelled elswhere, like government ministers' pockets). Another thing is, say for example you are from a country like North Korea. You are constantly told that the UK are evil, they eat babies over there, or they're hogging all the resources and drink champagne all day, and then you manage to go to university or get a job (somehow) in the UK, and get to experience it for yourself, it would change your view somewhat. And then, if you returned, and you were speaking to your family, and you said "actually, no, they don't eat babies. I've been there. They just eat a lot of bacon", the strongest government propaganda would not have that much of an effect on you, or your family. It's a good way to encourage greater international understanding.

However, on the other side, people have argued that Mugabe's regime is being propped up to an extent by families sending food and money to Zimbabweans, as they are saving the people from complete destitution and desperation (a situation in which they are more likely to try and overthrow him).

allok Wed 14-Oct-09 18:04:19

Bleh - with you on your last para and also the accusation has been leveled at families sending money home to fund arms in somalia.

Someguy the majority of countries that we think of as 'third world' are developing countries - there aren't that many countries any more labelled as third world - I think Malawi is - it's the second poorest country in the world.

I'm surprised that they've only just cottoned on to people sending money back home - it's inevitable - people go to another country to work - may send money home to help family - to buy land, to build a home. All normal.

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