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What Do We Know About Remittances and Forced Displacement?

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Jan 12, 2017 / 0 Comments

Over 65 million persons were forcibly displaced worldwide due to conflict and persecution at the end of 2015. Many of them remain displaced for a long period of time. Personal transfers sent to refugees and Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs) can contribute to livelihoods in protracted situations and increase self-reliance. Existing evidence suggests that they can be an important source of income, sent from the diaspora in third countries or from families and friends left behind. They can also play an important role in helping set up economic activities in protracted situations. At the same time, refugees and IDPs also send remittances, to refugees and IDPs in other places or to family and friends back home during times of conflict and peace. As their main reason for moving was not economic, their remittance behavior and the challenges they face might differ from economic migrants and might change over time. Policy frameworks and regulations can limit or promote refugee and IDP access to remittances.However, there is a lack of knowledge on remittances send to and from refugees and IDPs. A better understanding of remittances in forced displacement situations can help policy makers design policies and regulations to maximize their positive impacts and minimize the risks.


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Kirsten Schuettler

Kirsten Schuettler is a Senior Program Officer at the World Bank's Development Economics - Global Indicators Group. In the Migration & Remittances team her responsibilities include monitoring remittances flows to the MENA region and contributing to the implementation of the Global Knowledge Partnership on Migration and Development (KNOMAD). Prior to joining the World Bank she worked for the Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ) as a component manager in the Innovation and Entrepreneurship Promotion Program in Tunisia and as an advisor on migration and private sector development at GIZ headquarters. She has published on different aspects of the link between migration and economic development. She holds a Master’s degree in political science from the University of Freiburg and a Master’s degree in economics from the University of Hagen.


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