Diaspora Remittances Doubled Over Last Decade

Haiti's Diaspora is an important contributor to its economy. With 70% of Haitians living below the poverty line, and other sources of government income not dependable, the government of Haiti (GOH) looks to the Diaspora to keep a steady stream of remittances arriving to supply basic needs of poor Haitians in rural areas of the island.


The Inter-American Development Bank (IADB) commissioned a study on the Diaspora's remittance patterns in the Caribbean. IADB's foreign investment group, the Multilateral Investment Fund (MIF), conducted research and compiled statistics. What MIF discovered--when they analyzed the data--are remittances coming from the U.S., Europe, and Canada have doubled within the last decade. Two significant growth increases occurred, from 2005 to 2006, a 6.5% increase in remittances, and from 2009 to 2010, 8.3%.

Following the 2010 earthquake, remittances jumped 9.5% from $1.971 billion to $2.057 billion. What statistics show over the last decade is Haiti receives about one billion yearly in remittances, adding up to more than 25% of Haiti's Gross Domestic Product. And is over and above its annual foreign direct-investment and export revenue.

Diaspora remittances could have even more of an impact on Haiti's economy if GOH would rid its house of embezzlement schemes, hold free and fair elections, and vet domestic- and foreign-donor agencies promising help in the economic recovery. GOH needs to partner with the Diaspora. Together they could take major steps towards raising the standard of living throughout the country, without dependence on foreign corporations paying Haitian factory workers $5.00 a day.

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