"Essential for survival"

For Development Minister Gerd Müller remittances from migrants are no substitute for development aid. 


Berlin (dpa) - Migrants' remittances are extremely important for millions of people in developing countries - but in the view of Development Minister Gerd Müller (CSU) they are no substitute for development aid. Last year, according to the World Bank, migrants all over the world sent 554 billion dollars (about 505 billion euros) to their families in their home countries, about three times as much as the global flow of development aid. The money was "vital for the survival of many families", Müller told the German Press Agency. "However, these funds only benefit people who have relatives or friends abroad. That's why they are no substitute for sustainable development in the country, which benefits everyone."

The World Bank recently warned that remittances from migrants would fall by almost 20 percent worldwide this year because of the Corona crisis. Many migrants have lost their jobs, and remittances are also more difficult to transfer. This could be disastrous for families and developing countries. According to the International Monetary Fund, remittances in Somalia, for example, will account for 32 percent of the gross domestic product in 2019. According to the International Organization for Migration, Germany was the fifth most important country of origin for remittances worldwide in 2017, with 22.1 billion dollars.