IOM Publishes Study on Impact of Remittances
IOM has published the findings of a study analyzing the impact of
remittances on Cambodian migrant workers in Thailand and on local
communities in Cambodia.
The survey, funded by the Agence Française de
Développement, was launched yesterday at an IOM workshop at
the Sunway Hotel in Phnom Penh.
target="_blank" title="">Analyzing the Impact of Remittances from
Cambodian Migrant Workers in Thailand on Local Communities in
The report focused on Prey Veng and Kampong Cham provinces in
Cambodia and Trad and Rak Yorng provinces in Thailand.
"The most important finding of the study was the discovery of a
huge gap between the understanding among migrants and the
understanding among the households from which they come about why
and how people migrate, how remittances are transferred and used,
and what each group really wants from the process," says IOM
programme manager Dr. Bruno Maltoni.
"Migrants' families are usually only involved during the
preliminary stages of the migration process – that is, before
the migrants leave for the first time. Because of poor
communication, they are not in close touch with the migrants after
they leave and have very little idea about other aspects of the
migration process, such as how migrants manage to cross the border
illegally or how they send money home," he added.
Poor communication and lack of regular updates on the situation
of the households they leave behind mean that the migrants also
know very little about how their remittances are being spent. In
particular, they tend to underestimate the amount of money
households have to spend on health costs and payment of interest on
The survey, which interviewed 300 households in Cambodia and 200
migrants in Thailand, reconfirmed that remittances are transferred
mainly through informal channels and are used to meet households'
Most migration in Cambodia is still internal, with over a
quarter of the population migrating from rural to urban areas in
search of work, notably in the garment industry, which employs some
250,000 mainly female workers.
But growing numbers of Cambodians are now migrating abroad,
notably to Thailand, which now hosts an estimated 248,000 Cambodian
workers. Total remittances sent home by Cambodian workers abroad in
2009 were an estimated USD 353 million, according to the UNDP Human
Development Report. According to other agencies the figure is even
higher at around USD 560 million or 7.8 per cent of GDP.
The IOM report concedes that due to lack of research there is
still currently no reliable data on the total volume of money
transfers, how remittances from Cambodian migrant workers are spent
or how they contribute to the country's economic development.
The report can be downloaded from:
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