IADB estimates remittances to Peru to reach $3.5 billion in 2008

The Inter-American Development Bank has estimated that remittances to Peru will total $3.5 billion this year and increase to $4 billion in 2009, daily La República reported.

The newspaper quoted the executive director of the Exxed consulting firm, Miguel Arbulú, saying that the projected total represents an increase over 2007, when Peruvians abroad sent $3 billion to family members at home and $2.8 billion in 2006.

According to the Inter-American Development Bank, 10 percent of Peru’s adult population receives remittances at an average of nine times a year, at about $166 each time.

More than 60 percent of the remittances reportedly go towards basic needs, such as housing and food, while 20 percent are used to pay for education. Peru’s central Junín Department receives the highest ration at 17 percent followed by the Lima and northern Piura Departments which receive 16 and 14 percent respectively.

About 49 percent of remittances come from the United States, where some 370,000 Peruvian-born people live and work. Twenty-six percent of remittances come from Europe, particularly Spain and Italy, while 18 percent come from other Latin American nations, mainly Argentina, Venezuela, Ecuador and Chile, where 80,000 Peruvians reside.

In 2005, the inflows from remittances were almost equal to the Foreign Direct Investment and exceeded tourism revenues and the total of all agricultural exports. During the same year, remittances also totaled about 75 percent of Peruvian copper exports and almost 80 percent of gold exports.

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