Migrant Remittances are Bolivia’s Second Source of Income

El Diario - La Paz, 2-Aug-2010: A total of two and a half million Bolivians who emigrated to other countries since 2000 send one billion dollars back to Bolivia annually, making this the second most important source of income in Bolivia after that which is generated from natural gas exports, according to conclusions reached during three forums held by the Bolivian Foreign Trade Institute, IBCE (Instituto Boliviano de Comercio Exterior).

In 2005 income from remittances amounted to 8.5% of Bolivia’s GNP, and by 2006 this had increased to 8.7%, the highest percentage among all South American countries. By 2006, according to the 2007 IFAD data, there had been a 13% increase to over 972 million dollars.

This is due to the fact that an alarming number of people, nearly one million Bolivians of all ages, have abandoned the country since 2000 in search of work, as jobs are scarce in the country.

One fourth of the Bolivian population has migrated to other countries and this can cause dangerous “structural and generational gaps” in society that will have serious midterm and long-term impacts.

In other countries, Bolivians are not treated any better, especially now that immigration is penalized and South Americans are stigmatized as delinquents, leading to a dangerous surge in discrimination.

Read this article in Spanish.

Date: 2-Aug-2010
Source: El Diario

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