New IOM Survey on Remittances
About one third of the Guatemalan population is benefiting from
remittances sent home from family members working abroad, according
to an IOM survey on the subject which focused on the use of
remittances for health and education purposes.
An estimated US$3.4 billion in remittances will be sent to
Guatemala this year, an increase of 14 per cent from last year.
Just over 1.4 million Guatemalans live abroad, more than 98 per
cent of them in the United States.
The survey, carried out this summer among 3,000 families in 170
municipalities that represent 70 per cent of the national
population, found that families who receive remittances spend about
14 per cent of the money on social investment with an average of
US$ 283 and US$203 being used for health and education respectively
on an annual basis per family.
Half of the remittances received are used for the purchase of
consumer goods, 22 per cent for investments and savings and another
14 per cent for the purchasing of supplies for economic
It is expected that the findings of the survey, presented
yesterday to a gathering of 200 people including high level
government officials and members of parliament as well as academia
and the international community, will be used to design and
implement policies aimed at reducing poverty and improving health
and education levels among migrant families.
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