Global remittances are on the rise. Now, coupled with mobile technology, cross-border payments are even more effective at spurring poverty alleviation, but women may lag behind.
Officially recorded global remittance flows to developing countries were estimated by the World Bank to have reached $406 billion in 2012, with Kenya accounting for $1.2 billion, a 31.4 percent increase from 2011. The magnitude of money transfers into developing countries now exceeds official development aid by more than three times and counts for a large percentage of GDP in many countries. In Tajikistan, remittances account for almost 50 percent of the country’s GDP, and Liberia, Kyrgyz Republic, Lesotho, Moldova, Nepal, and Samoa all have remittances that count for over 20 percent of their GDP.