The overall picture suggests that only a very small proportion is used for investments or as a basis to set up a business.

Remittances cut both ways

The impact of remittance flows is ambivalent. On the one hand, households are brought into a dependence on remittances, which may transport a wrong and too optimistic picture of the financial situation and perspectives of the households, because the inflow of remittances is often taken for granted and is perceived as a continuous part of household income. However, whether this income can be sustained at certain levels and for long-term perspectives is beyond the control of the households and migrant workers. If a crisis sets in, such as the economic crisis in Russia after 2013 (see below), migrant workers are the first to be laid off and sent home, with a severe reduction in household income and overall remittances.

The occurance of such crises or other political changes that impact on migration cannot be controlled by the migrants and their dependent families.