Consequently, remittances are an important source of income for millions of families in developing countries across the world. In the past three decades, the flow of remittances to developing countries has constantly been growing. The World Bank’s latest figures confirm that 429 billion US dollars (USD) in remittances were sent to developing countries through official channels in 2016, an amount substantially higher than Official Development Assistance and more stable than Foreign Direct Investment.

Similar trends are observed in the contexts relevant to Sri Lanka and Nepal. The continuously growing economies of West and East Asian countries such as those in the Gulf, but also Malaysia, attract millions of workers not only from South and South-East Asia but beyond as well. Sri Lanka, for example, has witnessed a continued increase in foreign employment since the 1980s. While at that time a mere 15,000 people migrated for employment, they today amount to 260,000.