MANILA, Philippines – Money sent home by overseas Filipino workers are forecast to reach $29.7 billion this year, making the Philippines the world

Based on the World Bank’s Migration and Remittances Factbook 2016, India would be the top recipient of remittances which are seen to hit about $72.2 billion, followed by China with $63.9 billion and the Philippines.

Trailing behind are Mexico ($25.7 billion), France ($24.6 billion), Nigeria ($20.8 billion), the Arab Republic of Egypt ($20.4 billion), Pakistan ($20.1 billion), Germany ($17.5 billion), Bangladesh ($15.8 billion), Vietnam ($12.3 billion), Belgium ($11 billion), Spain ($10.5 billion), and Indonesia ($10.5 billion).

The Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP) estimated that remittances coursed through the country’s bank system would expand over five percent from $24.31 billion in 2014.

The World Bank outlook is a mix of remittances coursed through the formal and non-formal sectors.

However, remittances as a percentage of gross domestic product (GDP) are projected to remain at 10 percent.

The same report likewise disclosed that international migrants would send $601 billion to their families in their home countries this year, with developing countries receiving $441 billion.

“At more than three times the size of development aid, international migrants’ remittances provide a lifeline for millions of households in developing countries. In addition, migrants hold more than $500 billion in annual savings. Together, remittances and migrant savings offer a substantial source of financing for development projects that can improve lives and livelihoods in developing countries,” Dilip Ratha, co-author of the report, said.

The World Bank said the real size of remittances is “significantly larger” as there are unrecorded flows through the formal and informal sectors.

More than 247 million people, or 3.4 percent of the world population, live outside their countries of birth.

Although the number of international migrants rose from 175 million in 2000 to more than 247 million in 2013 and will surpass 251 million in 2015, the share of migrants has remained just above three percent (of world population) for the last 15 years.

The top migrant destination country is the US, followed by Saudi Arabia, Germany, the Russian Federation, the United Arab Emirates, the United Kingdom, France, Canada, Spain, and Australia.

Last year, the United States had an estimated $56 billion in outward flows, followed by Saudi Arabia ($37 billion), and Russia ($33 billion).

For the Philippines, the top destinations are Saudi Arabia, other Middle East/North Africa (MENA), the US and Canada, and Asia.

The top six immigration countries, relative to population, are outside the high-income OECD countries: Qatar (91 percent), United Arab Emirates (88 percent), Kuwait (72 percent), Jordan (56 percent), and Bahrain (54 percent).

“There is ample research to demonstrate that migration, both of highly-skilled and low skilled workers, generates numerous benefits for receiving and sending countries. The diaspora of developing countries and return migration can be a source of capital, trade, investment, knowledge, and technology transfers,” the report added.

Last year,  there were 14.4 million refugees (excluding 5.1 million Palestinian refugees), accounting for six percent of international migrants. About 86 percent of the refugees were hosted by developing countries, with Turkey, Pakistan, Lebanon, Iran, Ethiopia, Jordan, Kenya, Chad, and Uganda as the largest host countries.

In contrast, the number of refugees in advanced countries was 1.6 million.

The top 10 leading source countries of refugees last year were Syria Arab Republic, West Bank and Gaza, Afghanistan, Somalia, Sudan, South Sudan, Congo, Myanmar, Central African Republic and Iraq.
’s third largest recipient of remittances, according to the World Bank.

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