The Inter-American Development Bank says the world Haitian disapora sent more than $1.6 billion back to families on the impoverished island in 2006.

The bank said Tuesday the money sent to Haiti from overseas equals more than one-third of the country's gross national product.

More than $1 billion came from the United States and the large Haitian communities in Boston, Miami, and New York.

Other large contributions came from Canada, France, and the Bahamas.

The bank says many of the recipients of overseas money have incomes less than $500 a year. They use the extra funds for basic expenses, while others invest it in small businesses and education for their children.