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Remittances By Africans Living Outside Their Home Country Dwarf Foreign Aids And Send More Children to School


By Shola Adenekan



Sunday, January 27, 2019.


A new study has found that more children are in school in many African countries due to money sent from loved ones living abroad. In the households that receive remittances, not only is more money spent on education, but the children are also less likely to work and more likely to study.


The study by the money transfer company WorldRemit, shows that money sent home is more effective than donations from western governments and NGOs. For example, these remittances mean that children have a better chance of being in school, and the extra money available for individual children amounted to the cost of text-books for two years.


In Nigeria, the largest remittance-receiving country on the continent - 200,000 children are in school due to money received from loved ones living abroad. 


The study also shows that in Kenya diaspora remittances halve the chance of Kenyan children being out of school.


In Tanzania and Uganda, thousands of children are in school thanks to remittances from the diaspora.


A recent study by a United Nations agency Unicef, suggests that there are almost 300 million people worldwide living outside their country of birth, and WorldRemit argues that this rise in global migration is making a positive difference. As remittances from increased migration are estimated to have risen to a record $689 billion in 2018, more money than ever is flowing into education. In fact, as many as 3.5 million children are likely to be in school because of the financial support that family and friends living abroad are sending home.


At a global level, WorldRemit suggests that if traditional, cash-based money transfers were replaced by lower-cost digital alternatives, an additional $825 million would be unlocked for families to spend on children’s education. Such savings could be enough to pay for 20 million school uniforms, 30 million school books and 16 million sets of school supplies for children in low and middle income countries.

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