The executive director of the southern Sudanese community center in San Diego, California, says remittances by Diaspora Sudanese have substantially improved the economy and the standard of living of families back home.
Chuol Tut said the group is planning fundraising events in may aimed at building schools and health institutions in southern Sudan.
“The people in Diaspora right now they are supporting the people back home in Sudan and they normally send them money. Because of the war in Sudan, there is no cultivation, no place to live and no shelter… so the [Sudanese living abroad] contribute to making the people live better in Sudan,” Tut said.
In a 2009 report, the United Nations Human Development Index estimated that about US$ 1,769 million in remittances were sent to Sudan in 2007. The report also stated ”remittances, which are usually sent to immediate family members who have stayed behind, are among the most direct benefits from migration; their benefits spread broadly into local economies.”
Tut said monies sent home have had a positive impact because “formerly there was no education in Sudan…and people here raise money to send back home in order for the young kids to have just basic education, clean water, and health care,” Tut said.
Some studies have concluded that remittances provide income for food and shelter during economic downturns.
Tut said improved security in Sudan could significantly boost the positive impact remittances have on Sudan’s economy.