Migrants: financial transfers vital to Lebanese economy

March 25, 2016
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Financial transfers from migrants, and more specifically the southern Mediterranean diasporas to their countries of origin, have often aroused interest, and numerous initiatives have emerged in view of their contribution to development in these countries. The Euro-Mediterranean Forum of Economic Institutes (FEMISE) published a new study, on Wednesday 23 March 2016, stating that “remittances of money from investments or bank deposits sent back by Lebanese expats to their families represent a vital component of the Lebanese economy and an important part of its financial resources.” 
This comparative study between Lebanon, Morocco and Algeria, which was coordinated by Chogig Kasparian, a professor at the University Saint Joseph in Beirut, shows that Lebanon tops the MENA region in terms of the importance of remittances. These reached 22.4% of GDP in 2009, compared to 6.6% and 1.4% respectively in Morocco and Algeria. 60% of Lebanese emigrants regularly send money to their families back home. The transfers received are used primarily to meet the needs of everyday life, such as health and education expenditure. The study also highlights an income gap of 38.4% between households receiving transfers and others.

Countries covered:

  • Algeria
  • Lebanon
  • Morocco