(Jamaica Gleaner) – The World Bank has voiced concern about what it described as the exorbitant cost of sending remittances to the Caribbean.
The World Bank says in some cases migrant workers are forced to pay as much as US$50 to send US$200 and it says this is wrong.
The Washington-based financial institution said this is especially so when workers are sending salaries they have earned in the hope of supporting their families back home.
It said US$200 is often a very significant sum for migrants’ family income.
It says there was little price transparency and no global effort to address this problem until the World Bank helped form a coalition to monitor the process and create an information system to help remittance-senders compare services and costs.
As a result, the bank said the global average of sending a remittance of US$200 came down from 9.81 per cent to 8.95 per cent in the normal average and from 8.58 per cent to 6.62 per cent in the weighted average from 2008.
The World Bank has also said that remittances to the Caribbean and other developing countries are expected to remain robust this year, despite increased deportations of migrant workers.
The bank said migrants from developing countries, including the Caribbean, are expected to send US$436 billion in remittances to their home countries this year.