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a25: Remittances and Haiti (fwd)
From: Greg Chamberlain <GregChamberlain@compuserve.com>
By JULIE WATSON
MONTERREY, Mexico, Dec 17 (AP) -- The crucial flow of dollars from
migrant workers in the United States to families in Latin America has
dwindling after the Sept. 11 terror attacks and the onset of the U.S.
recession, according to a bank study released Monday.
Of 1,000 Latin Americans surveyed in the United States in the last two
months, 56 percent said they were sending less money home now than they did
before the terrorist hijackers flew planes into the World Trade Center in
New York and the Pentagon.
The Inter-American Development Bank study found 7 percent of those
surveyed said they had lost their job because of the U.S. economic downturn
and 26 percent were earning less after Sept. 11.
Even those who hadn't been directly affected said they were sending less
money home, fearing they will need more money to live in the United States
in the coming months.
"If these trends persist, Latin America could lose billions of dollars
in remittances," Donald Terry, manager of the bank's multilateral
investment fund, said Monday.
Bank estimates for last year put total remittances to Latin America and
the Caribbean at $20 biIlion, with most of that coming from the 15 million
Latin American-born people working in the United States.
In El Salvador remittances account for 13 percent of the country's
foreign income. In Mexico an estimated 40 percent of households with a
migrant worker aboard have no other income.