Thursday, February 9, 2006

GENEVA, Feb 7 (KUNA) — The International Organizatioon for Migration (IOM) said Tuesday that migrants now number between an estimated 185-192 million people who last year officially sent an estimated USD 232 billion in remittances, USD167 billion to developing countries.

IOM spokesperson Jemini Pandya noted that sending remittances through informal channels is estimated to be at least 50 per cent of recorded flows, implying that the true size of remittances reaching development countries last year is probably more than US USD 250 billion.

She added; in the bi-weekly UN press briefing, that remittances are an important financial inflow to least developed countries, with Bangladesh for example, listed in the top 20 remittances receiving countries.

In developing countries, they also constitute the second largest capital flow after direct foreign investment and have helped to improve the standard of living of millions of people by providing them with essential resources for food, housing, health and education.

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