Thousands get to go to school in Pakistan thanks to remittances

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Daniel Webber
Daniel Webber
Founder & CEO
Daniel is Founder and CEO at FXcompared and has numerous years of experience in the international finance world, especially within the media, technology and property sectors. Daniel is passionate… Read more
  • Pakistan received a whopping $21 billion in remittances in the year 2018 thanks to the Pakistani diaspora
  • Due to the remittances sent by Pakistanis overseas, more parents in the country can now afford to send their kids to school
  • An estimated 19 million children in Pakistan cannot go to school due to financial constraints, based on data from a government survey and the World Bank

Thousands of Pakistani parents were able to send their children to school last year and can send them again this term because of remittances they received from family members working abroad. This data comes from WorldRemit, one of Pakistan’s most popular money transfer methods, the Pakistani government’s household survey, UNESCO and the World Bank.

Research shows that 450,000 children in the country are currently in school thanks to international remittances. This, according to WorldRemit and the various agencies, is a huge improvement in the number of school children in Pakistan. It is noted by the Pakistani government that 40% of school age children are less likely to go to school if the household cannot afford it.

An estimated 220 million children from low income and middle income countries do not attend school, according to recent data, and of these 220 million, 19 million live in Pakistan.

“As millions of children in Pakistan go back to school this term, our research is a timely reminder that the contributions of the diaspora are vital to the education of 450,000 children across the country”, said Hamza Islam, the Country Director of WorldRemit Pakistan.

WorldRemit notes that cash-based transfers are expensive in the country, but as they are replaced by lower-cost alternatives such as the brand’s platform, senders can send more money to their loved ones. According to the brand, going digital can translate to 20 million uniforms for school children, 20 million books, and a total of 16 million school supply packages.  

Pakistan received a total of $21 billion in remittances in the past year, a huge improvement from 2017’s numbers, according to reports. It is noted by experts that there are 7.6 million Pakistani migrants who went abroad to find better paying jobs and most still live and work outside of the country. The Pakistani diaspora is the sixth largest diaspora in the world.

Government data shows that Pakistani migrants living in different parts of the world transfer money internationally on a regular basis to support family members back home. It has also been found that money was still sent monthly in the past despite relatively expensive overseas transfer rates since funds are required for basic needs.

Experts in the industry note, however, that the emergence of fintechs have made fund transfer rates more affordable. One of the leading companies that has made this possible in Pakistan is WorldRemit.

Data from the World Bank and the Pakistani government’s household survey show the same results, according to experts, noting that remittances play an important role in alleviating poverty in the developing world.

Find out more about the remittance industry by following our magazine.

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