According to Banco de Guatemala, for the first time since 1999, in January 2009 remittances from abroad decreased by 7.75% compared to the same month in 2008. In Guatemala remittance flows represent 11.89% of GDP. According to the World Bank remittances can represent more than 50% of rurally-based family income and for the International Organization for Migration 30.4% of the population receives money from abroad.
Causes? Probably economic crisis and deportation of illegal immigrants from the US.
Something is certain: remittances are a strong factor in reducing poverty in Guatemala. If flows continue to decrease is more than probable that poverty will rise in a country where, according to the government, 45,6% of children are already underweight.
Monday, 16 February 2009