United Nations, Mar 21: India topped the list of recipient countries of migrant remittances at 27 billion dollar last year according to World Bank report. Senior economist Dilip Ratha, and co-author of the report 'Migration and Remittances Factbook 2008', said, ''In many developing countries, remittances provide a lifeline for the poor.'' Mr Ratha said, ''They are often an essential source of foreign exchange and a stabilising force for the economy in turbulent times.'' Tajikistan, Moldova and Tonga were the top remittance-receiving countries as a percentage of gross domestic product (GDP). India is followed by China, Mexico, the Philippines and France in the list.
''Migration is sometimes used as a political pawn, and policies are too often based on anecdotes or misconception,'' said Uri Dadush, Director of the World Bank's Department. ''By presenting the numbers and facts behind these stereotypes, this publication aims to paint a more objective picture of a crucial aspect of development,'' he added. In 2005, the United States was the top immigration country, with 38.4 million immigrants, followed by Russia with 12.1 million and Germany with 10.1 million. As a percentage of the population, Qatar (78 per cent), Andorra (78 per cent) and the United Arab Emirates (8 per cent) were on the top list.
International migrants are mostly people who move voluntarily, but the World Bank noted that in 2005, there were some 13.5 million refugees and asylum seekers, comprising 7 per cent of global migrants. The Factbook also found that the volume of South-South is almost the same as South-North migration. It pointed out that smaller countries are more likely to have higher rates of skill emigrations.