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Publication(World Bank, Washington, DC, 2011-03) Clotteau, Nils ; Ansón, JoséHistorically post offices have played a role in the provision of remittances and basic financial services to low-income populations. As this function is being revived in an increasing number of developing and emerging countries, remittance services can be improved to better match financial inclusion goals. This paper describes the efforts being made in Sub-Saharan Africa to increase access to remittance services through post offices in small towns and rural areas, and discusses how this improved access could be used to develop crucial savings and other financial services for the poor. The outcomes are encouraging, though a number of constraints must be removed to fully realize the potential of posts in this area.
Migration and Remittance Trends 2009 : A Better-Than-Expected Outcome So Far, But Significant Risks Ahead(World Bank, Washington, DC, 2009-11) Ratha, Dilip ; Mohapatra, Sanket ; Silwal, AniNewly available data show that officially recorded remittance flows to developing countries reached $338 billion in 2008, higher than our previous estimate of $328 billion. Based on monthly and quarterly data released by some central banks and in line with the World Bank's global economic outlook we estimate that remittance flows to developing countries will fall to $317 billion in 2009. This 6.1 percent decline is smaller than our earlier expectation of a 7.3 percent fall. While new migration flows have fallen, existing migrants are not returning even though the job market has been weak in many destination countries. We maintain our expectation of a recovery in migration and remittance flows in 2010 and 2011, but the recovery is likely to be shallow. In all the regions, remittance flows are likely to face three downside risks: a jobless economic recovery, tighter immigration controls, and unpredictable exchange rate movements. Despite these risks, remittances are expected to remain more resilient than private capital flows and will become even more important as a source of external financing in many developing countries. Policy responses should involve efforts to facilitate migration and remittances, to make these flows cheaper, safer and more productive for both the sending and the receiving countries.
Publication(World Bank, Washington, DC, 2009-07) Ratha, Dilip ; Mohapatra, Sanket ; Silwal, AniNewly available data show that remittance flows to developing countries reached $328 billion in 2008, larger than previous estimate of $305 billion. Remittances grew rapidly during 2007 and 2008, but have slowed down in many corridors since the last quarter of 2008. In line with a recent downward revision in the World Bank's forecast of global economic growth, also lowered forecasts for remittance flows to developing countries to -7.3 percent in 2009 from the earlier forecast of -5 percent. Flows to Latin America have been falling in a lagged response to the construction sector slowdown in the US, but there are emerging signs of a bottoming out. In contrast, flows to South Asia and East Asia have been strong; but there is risk of a slowdown going forward. The predicted decline in remittances is far smaller than that for private flows to developing countries. The resilience of remittances arises from the fact that while new migration flows have declined, the stock of migrants has been relatively unaffected by the crisis. Sources of risk to this outlook include uncertainty about the depth and duration of the current crisis, unpredictable movements in exchange rates, and the possibility that immigration controls may be tightened further in major destination countries.