Migrant workers will send home a record amount of money this year, outstripping international aid contributions.
The World Bank said the recorded amount of money sent home was on course to rise by 6 per cent to almost $200bn (£105bn), but it estimated that the real amount could be 50 per cent higher, about $300bn.
This flow of money, mainly from north of the Equator to the south, has doubled over the last five years. The World Bank said the fall in the cost of transmitting money home had been a trigger for the increase. But it remains difficult for people in remote parts of Africa to receive money quickly and cheaply, and much is taken home in notes and coins by friends and relatives. This week London will host a conference aimed at finding ways of making money transfers easier.
Gareth Thomas, the International Development minister, said the money was helping put children through school, buy medical treatment and create jobs.