Remittances during crises: implications for humanitarian response

Briefing papers
June 2007
Kevin Savage and Paul Harvey

This paper is a summary of a two-year study into the role that remittances play in crises. The work explores how affected people use remittance income to survive and recover from crises, the effect that crises can have on remittance flows and the way that humanitarian responses consider the role of remittances. The study is based on a review of relevant literature, as well as detailed case studies in Haiti, Pakistan, Somaliland, Sudan, Indonesia and Sri Lanka. The study concludes that, while remittances should not be seen as a panacea or substitute for humanitarian action, there is clear potential for humanitarian actors to do more to explore the complementarities between emergency relief and people’s own efforts to support friends and family in times of crisis.

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