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Plummeting Remittances Expose Global Economic Failure

June 4, 2020 (EIRNS)—Forecasts of a drop of over 20% this year in the total remittances which migrants will be able to send back home, expose another facet of the economic destruction wrecked by the Wall Street-City of London system of globalization which LaRouchePAC addresses its bold programmatic plan, “The LaRouche Plan To Reopen the U.S. Economy: The World Needs 1.5 Billion New, Productive Jobs.”

Working in another country by choice can be a great thing, but tens of million of people have increasingly been forced to migrate in recent decades in search of some means to secure the survival of themselves and their families. According to the UN’s International Organization for Migration (IOM) 2020 World Migration Report, the number of international migrants had risen to 272 million people by 2019 (as compared to 150 million in 2000). Nearly two-thirds of those migrants, 164 million people, are “labor migrants,” and 74% of them are of working age (20-64 years), in other words, people unable to find productive work in their own countries.

Some argue that these 272 million migrants represent “only” 3.5% of the world’s population. Looked at differently: It is the equivalent of the entire population of the nation of Indonesia —the world’s fourth-largest nation—being forced to go elsewhere to find a living.

The money sent back home by those 270 million-plus migrants supports an estimated 800 million people, who often need those funds to cover the basics of life: food, water, health care and education. Remittances hit a record $554 billion in 2019, according to the World Bank, but that flow of life support has plummetted with the loss of jobs, many of them in the informal economy, due to the economic lockdowns to fight the pandemic.

Take the case of Ibero-America and the Caribbean: An estimated 6 million of the 30 million households who rely on money from family members abroad will not receive any remittances this year, and another 8 million will lose at least a month of income, Inter-American Dialogue remittances expert Manuel Orozco told Inter-Press Service (May 18 wire). Remittances “represent 50% of the total income of the households that receive money from family members abroad, and increase their savings capacity to more than double that of the average population,” he told IPS. The World Bank forecasts an even greater drop (over 23%) in remittances to Sub-Saharan Africa, a continent in worse economic conditions than Central America.

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