Thursday, 23 April 2009

UGANDA: Queues grow shorter at forex bureaus as remittances drop

Dorothy Nakaweesi


The once long queues that characterised money transfer agents’ offices have in the last few months shortened underpinning growing fears that Ugandans in the Diaspora are remitting less of their earnings.

Although actual figures of the drop in remittances are still hard to come by, several agents dealing in money transfer and forex bureaux have confirmed to Business Power that the level of business has waned in the last couple of months.

The drop, the agents said, is attributed to many Ugandans in the Diaspora who have been affected by the global economic crisis that resulted from a meltdown in credit in the US market mid last year.
“December-January Festive season used to be our peak season but last year business was very low. We have continued to see an acute fall in people sending remittances,” Mr Brain Iga Manager Lacedri Forex Bureau along Entebbe Road with Western Union money transfer, told Business Power in a mini market survey last week. Read more Announces New Partnership with Grupo Bancolombia

SAN FRANCISCO, April 21 /PRNewswire/ -- Xoom Corporation, the
Internet-based global money transfer company, announced yesterday a
partnership with Grupo Bancolombia, one of the oldest and the largest banks
in Colombia. The agreement with Bancolombia, effective yesterday, will
provide the beneficiaries of Xoom's customers with faster access to money
and more locations for receiving money in Colombia. The partnership expands
Xoom's cash disbursement network to include Bancolombia branch locations
and increases the speed of bank deposit service to just minutes. Read more

NEPAL: Remittance in Rukum swells

Kantipur Report RUKUM, April 22 - Rukum has been receiving Rs. 5 million in remittances from various parts of the world daily. The money is coming through six different money transfer agencies operating in the district. Money transfer has proved a good and easy way for migrant workers to send money back to their families in Nepal.

Western Union Money Transfer, which was launched in 2005, handles Rs. 1.5 million in remittances daily. Bhiuman Gharti said that most of the money comes from Saudi Arabia, Dubai, Malaysia and Qatar. Read more

Poor Latinos are victims of abuse nationwide, activists say

(CNN) -- Low-income Latinos are routinely discriminated against in the South, a new report says, but the study's author and others say the problem exists nationwide, with millions of Spanish-speaking immigrants living "beyond the protection of the law."

Migrant laborers help in the post-Hurricane Katrina cleanup in New Orleans, Louisiana, in 2006.

Migrant laborers help in the post-Hurricane Katrina cleanup in New Orleans, Louisiana, in 2006.

The report, released Wednesday by the Southern Poverty Law Center, documents the experiences of 500 immigrants in the South, finding that Latinos routinely are cheated out of wages, are denied basic health protection and fall victim to racial profiling.

"Under Siege: Life for Low-Income Latinos in the South" details stories such as that of a Tennessee woman who says she was jailed at a cheese factory for asking for pay, a bean picker in Alabama who says his life savings were taken by police at a traffic stop, and a rapist in Georgia who was not arrested because the suspect's victim was an undocumented immigrant.

Read more

Africa could be worst hit by crisis

By Daniel Magnowski

DAKAR (Reuters) - The impact of the financial crisis may be much more severe in Africa than in developed economies as falling income pushes families below the poverty line, the World Bank said Wednesday.

Africa was at first thought to be at least partially insulated from the crisis as a result of its relative isolation from the global banking system, but the effects of falling aid, investment, remittances and export income could damage the world's poorest continent deeply.

"Falling growth by 2 or 3 percentage points could have disastrous consequences if you are already a poor country," Shanta Devarajan, chief economist for Africa, told reporters across the continent in a video-conference from the Bank's Washington headquarters. Read more

Friday, 3 April 2009

BANGLADESH: Do we really have a crisis on the remittance front?

Source: Bureau of Manpower, Employment and Training

WORKERS' remittance is the most important source of foreign exchange earning in Bangladesh. Although remittances account for about 60% of gross export receipts, in terms of net value addition and contribution to domestic demand it probably has more impact on the overall economy. It is also the fastest growing component, recording an average growth rate of 21.5% since 2000 and accounting for about 12% of GDP in 2008/09. Thus, the potential adverse impact of the global economic crisis on Bangladesh's remittance inflows is a legitimate concern.

Read more

Remittances: An important cushion in a downturn

By Richard Lapper

Published: April 1 2009 17:12 | Last updated: April 1 2009 17:12

For most of the past 30 years, Paulosi Makara has made his living in South Africa, travelling back and forth from his home in Lesotho to the gold and platinum mines of the landlocked republic’s giant neighbour.

But since the 53-year-old was laid off last May, he has been finding it difficult to get work and his family is suffering the consequences.

Mr Makara typically sent home R2,000 ($206) each month from his R4,000 to R5,000 wage packet and the money helped buy groceries, make improvements to the family home and pay school fees for his five children.

But with the money no longer available, three of the older teenagers have been withdrawn from school. Read more