- About Hunger
- How to End Hunger
- Our Impact
- Get Involved
By David Gist
Remittances play a monumental role in helping families in the developing world.
Grace’s story as depicted in a PBS documentary bears this out. Grace reluctantly left her family in the Philippines to move to Baltimore, Maryland, where she works as a special education resource teacher. She says working with children who have special needs is fulfilling, but of course, she misses her family very much. She and her children see one another on video chats, but she won’t be there for her baby’s first steps.
Grace came to the United States because jobs are scarce in the Philippines. In Baltimore, she earns 17 times more than what she earned back home. This allows her to send remittances back to her family to support them. A remittance is the transfer of money by a foreign worker to someone in her or his home country.
Approximately 200 million people have left home to work in another country and will send back more than $450 billion to their families, according to the International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD). Households in Mexico received $27 billion in remittances last year, largely from family members working in the U.S. Today, remittances are Mexico’s largest source of foreign revenue.
Bread for the World urges Congress to fight hunger and poverty around the world, including countries where people like Grace have to leave their families to find work overseas. But as much as our nation does, remittances have an even greater impact on hunger and poverty. In a statement, IFAD President Gilbert Houngbo said remittances, “total more than three times the sum of official development assistance channeled from rich nations to poor.”
As the Migration Policy Institute points out in a report, “Remittances are associated with greater human development outcomes…such as health, education, and gender equality. There are also positive spillover effects, with some of the expenditures and investments made by remittance-receiving households accruing to entire communities.”
But remittances face challenges today. With immigrants in the U.S. under increasing threat of deportation, the pool of remittances is at risk of shrinking, which could lead to a rise in poverty overseas. To make matters worse, some critics of remittances want to complicate the process. During last year’s presidential race, President Trump called for blocking remittance payments to Mexico unless Mexico paid for a border wall. In March 2017, a few House members concerned about immigration introduced a bill to tax remittances to Mexico.
Here in the U.S., job growth and a robust economy are what we need to keep people working—immigrants and citizens alike—and to reduce and ultimately end hunger here at home and abroad. As the Philippine economy becomes larger and healthier, Grace hopes to be able to return home to work and be reunited with her family.
David Gist is a regional organizer at Bread for the World.
With immigrants in the U.S. under increasing threat of deportation, the pool of remittances is at risk of shrinking, which could lead to a rise in poverty overseas.
Hunger and food insecurity add at least $160 billion a year to U.S. healthcare costs.
Even before Hurricanes Irma and Maria struck Puerto Rico, hunger and food insecurity were much more common among Puerto Ricans than among their fellow U.S. citizens in the 50 states.
Before the hurricanes, 1.5 million Puerto Ricans were food insecure. The child food insecurity rate was...
By Marlysa D. Gamblin and Margot Nitschke
Ending hunger in the United States is within reach, explain Marlysa Gamblin and Margot Nitschke, in Getting to Zero Hunger by 2030...
A brief examination of the biblical approach to health as a hunger issue.
Includes an introduction to the issue, a Scriptural reflection, practical actions you can take, and a prayer.
Thank you for inviting me to preach here at Duke University Chapel. And I especially want to thank the Bread for the World members who have come this morning.
Bruce Puckett urged...
In this issue: Another Great Year for Bread; Catholics Begin Observance of Holy Year of Mercy; Serving on ‘God’s Wave Length’ for 39 Years; and more.
A set of how-to sheets for carrying out advocacy and fact sheets on the current issues Bread for the World is working on.
For new and current Bread grassroots hunger activists.
Ideal as a starter toolkit for new Bread activists or as a set of updates for current activists.
Unnecessarily long prison sentences, combined with the lack of rehabilitative programs for people in prison, exacerbate hunger, poverty, and existing inequalities.
Overly harsh mandatory minimum prison sentences have contributed to the rapid increase of our country’s prison population. The...
Learn more about the principles that Bread for the World supports regarding health reform.