2011 Report: Remittances to Latin America and the Caribbean in 2011
Download the report.
Press Release: Report: Remittances to Latin America and the Caribbean rose to $61 billion in 2011. MIF’s annual analysis of migrants’ money transfers shows year-on-year growth of 6%. March 8, 2012.
Map of remittances flows
When MIF began studying remittance flows in 2000, they were often inaccurately recorded and largely hidden in the “errors and omissions” columns of central bank balance of payments records. Since then, MIF has raised overall awareness about the true volume of these flows, and has also focused on achieving two main goals: (i) reducing the average cost of sending remittances to Latin America and the Caribbean (LAC), and (ii) increasing the number of families receiving remittances through the formal financial system. Progress toward the first goal of cost reduction has exceeded expectations.
Today, average remittance transfer prices to the LAC region are among the lowest in the world, averaging between 5% and 6% - approximately a 75% drop since 2000. Regarding the second goal, MIF has launched approximately 40 pilot projects exploring various ways to “bank the unbanked” and enhance the development impact of the over 250 million money transfers made every year to families across the region. Through practical project experience and the knowledge generated by its research on remittance market trends, the MIF Remittances Program continues to address the challenge of financial inclusion, looking to determine the role remittances can play in increasing access to finance for underserved populations throughout the region.
The MIF Remittances Program focuses its efforts on the following activities:
Projects: Through grants, loans and equity investment operations, MIF supports projects related to Remittances and: Housing, Policy and Regulatory Frameworks, Banking the Unbanked, Productive Investments, and Financial Education and Entrepreneurship Training.
Advisory Services: MIF offers policy advice on remittances issues to national governments, international authorities, the private sector, and other development agencies. These advisory services include: (i) a project that aims to improve the measurement of remittances among central banks, with the Centro de Estudios Monetarios Latinoamericanos (CEMLA); (ii) a project to implement the General Principles for Remittance Services in LAC markets, with the Payment Systems Development Group of the World Bank and CEMLA; as well as (iii) other on-demand advisory services for public sector authorities across the region.
In addition, MIF has provided expertise in forums organized with and by other partners, including the International Task Force on Remittances and Payment Systems co-chaired by the World Bank and the Committee on Payment and Settlement Systems (CPSS) and the International Task Force on Remittances Data Measurement, also referred to as the “Luxembourg Remittances Group”, both of which were launched following the 2004 G8 Sea Island Summit. Also, MIF participates in the Global Remittances Working Group, and following the recommendations endorsed at the 2007 G8 Outreach Meeting in Berlin, MIF is the co-chair of the Working Group on Remittances and Access to Finance.
Research: The MIF Remittances team produces and commissions research in various areas related to remittance flows to LAC that serve as a reference point for existing and potential remittance market players, as well as for academia and the media. MIF publications on remittances include: the annual map of remittances to the region, surveys of remittance senders and receivers, trend analyses of the remittance market, studies of potential remittance-linked products, and analyses of remittance corridors.
Events: MIF regularly convenes market representatives, international development actors, academics and MIF project partners to share knowledge and lessons learned, as well as to disseminate new ideas on remittances. Annual events such as Remesamericas also provide market actors and analysts the opportunity to create strategic alliances with various stakeholders. The last MIF remittances event - Remesamericas 2010: Remittances for the Future - was held May 6-7, 2010 in Mexico City.