Above: Port-au-Prince (CJ Photo)
By the Caribbean Journal staff
Remittances to the Caribbean remained effectively flat in 2012, with a 0.1 percent increase compared to the previous year, according to estimates from the Multilateral Investment Fund.
There were a total of $8.272 billion in remittances from abroad to the region last year, led by the Dominican Republic, which saw 4.8 percent growth to a total of $3.16 billion, and Jamaica, which rose by 0.6 percent to $2.04 billion.
Remittances to Haiti saw a 3.4 percent drop to $1.99 billion, according to the report, which was based on MIF and central bank data.
Remittances to South America fell by 4.4 percent, while they rose 3.4 percent to Central America.
As a percentage of national GDP, Haiti led the region as a whole, with nearly 25 percent of its GDP from remittances.
“The latest data show that migrants continue to provide critical financial support to millions of households across the region,” said MIF General Manager Nancy Lee. “The development impact of remittances can be much greater if families have the option to save some of these flows rather than convert them all into cash upon receipt. The new MIF Remittance and Savings program will help identify innovative and commercially viable business models that work for both financial institutions and families.”