Remittances from relatives abroad are a lifeline for Haitians

Americas Now

Families living on the poverty level in Haiti receive financial help from relatives abroad to help make ends meet. The money – called “remittances” – reflects the rise of migration across the continent.

Two-thirds of migrants from Latin America live in the United States. One of the countries that receives the most is Haiti, where the money accounts for almost 35 % of the GDP.

In recent years remittances sent by Latinos to their families back home has grown. In fact, from 2016 to 2017 they sent a total of $75 billion – a new record, according to the World Bank.

Correspondent John Zarrella visited Port-au-Prince, as well as Miami, to examine the financial impact this flow of income has on residents.

About 300,000 Haitian-Americans live in Florida. Some who will lose their protected status in the U.S., are now trying to seek asylum in other countries, like Canada, rather than return to their homeland where unemployment is at 40 %.