Remittances critical in fighting poverty – UK report
New research by money transfer company Western Union says that without being able to send money home 40 per cent of migrants living in the UK believe their family or friends would be in poverty.
The report, titled ‘The Value of Remittance: How UK Migrants and Supporting Their Families From Afar’ explores the impact of remittance payments, finding that 70 per cent of migrants believe that their friends or families’ quality of life has improved vastly, due to the money that they send.
Almost three-quarters (71 per cent) of migrants state that being able to send money to their friends or family gives their life a sense of purpose.
The research says that 2 in 5 (40 per cent) of migrants living in the UK believe their friends or family would be in poverty if it wasn’t for them sending regular payments back home.
The report found that half (52 per cent) of migrants believe that without being able to send money, their family or friends would not be able to afford medical treatment and 46 per cent say that members of their family would not be able to attend school or further education. Forty-five per cent went on to say that without their support, their family or friends back home would not be able to afford their rent or mortgage.
The study found that 70 per cent of migrants believe that their families’ quality of life has improved vastly due to the money that they send and 64 per cent believe that their family and friends have more opportunities in life as a result of their remittance payments.
On average migrants were found to send 22 per cent of their annual income as remittance. With the primary reasons being to support their families’ healthcare (61 per cent of respondents), cost of groceries (59 per cent), accommodation (39 per cent), education fees (38 per cent) and paying off family debt (38 per cent).
Transport costs were cited by 20 per cent, supporting a family business was cited by 19 per cent, followed by childcare (18 per cent) and family wedding costs (9 per cent).
Ninety-two percent of migrants were found to have sent money to family back home in the past 12 months and 55 per cent of migrants say that being able to send money to family back home was a key factor in their decision to move to the UK.
The study found that amongst a global cost of living crisis, many migrants are struggling with the pressure of providing for their families and friends back home.
More than half (53 per cent) of migrants said that due to the rising cost of living, they have had to work extra hours or have started another job to continue sending remittance payments and 55 per cent say that they have had to reduce the amount of remittance that they send due to rising living costs.
Thirty-seven per cent reported that they were concerned about the possibility of losing their job in the next 12 months and the impact this will have on their families back home.
Top 10 countries migrants living in the UK are sending money to are: India; Pakistan; Nigeria; France; Germany; China; Poland; Kenya; Philippines, and; Spain.
Read the full report: The Value of Remittance: UK – Blog | Western Union