For those looking to transfer money abroad, impartial and comprehensive advice can be found through services such as Send Money Home, providing money transfer comparison rates and products for countries all over the world.

Send money home, however does not adequately address remittance corridors to and from Africa. In particular, information on sending money to Zimbabwe is not currently supported on their country pages. Migrant remittances are now recognized as an important source of global development finance and there is increasing evidence that international remittances have considerable developmental impacts. Organizations such as the Southern African Migration Project lead the field in current research on sending money to Africa, and most recently Zimbabwe. Their research on “Migrant Remittances and Household Survival In Zimbabwe,” (2009) is available online and addresses the significance of remittances to economic survival and preferred methods of money transfer to Zimbabwe. The report aims to also answer basic questions about remittance origins, volumes, channels and use.

Remittances and Development Statistics in Zimbabwe:

• The vast majority of Zimbabweans abroad regularly send back remittances in cash and/or kind.  In 2008, three-quarters of migrant-sending households received remittances.  Migrants sent home R2,759 p.a. on average.

• Some 61% of households receive money at least once a month. Another  25% receive money at least once or twice every three months and 7% once or twice a year. There was a positive correlation between the amount remitted and the frequency of remitting: migrants who send money home more frequently remit more on average than those who remit less often.

• As many as 61% of the surveyed households had received goods in the year prior to the survey. Non-cash remittances included foodstuffs, as well as consumer goods such as bicycles, radios, sofas, agricultural inputs and building materials. Most non-cash remitting is based on the specific and immediate needs of the recipients. See more on sending groceries or fuel to Zimbabwe

• The most common use of remittances is to buy food (by 67% of households), buy clothing (49%) and pay for school fees (48%). Domestic building materials are another common expense (by 49% of households) as are transportation costs (fuel and fares).

Source: Migrant Remittances and Household Survival in Zimbabwe

Series Editor: Jonathan Crush 
Authors: Daniel Tevera and Abel Chikanda

Migration Policy Series No. 51

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