On Global Philanthropy and Cell phones

The global recession is hurting developing countries' economies and societies more than it's damaging the developed world.

Having said this, the surge in global philanthropy, remittances and private investments that has been building over the past several years is easing the pain. As of 2007, global private philanthropy, remittances and private investments account for 83 percent, compared to 17 percent provided by government aid..

In the case of aid sent by the United States, government aid accounted for $21.8 billion, while $213.4 billion flowed to the developed world from the following sources: Private capital ($97.5 billion), remittances that migrants and immigrants in developed countries send back to their home countries ($79 billion), and philanthropy ($36.9 billion).

An interesting trend is the use of cell phones for money transfers. Considering that out of 3.6 billion cell-phone users worldwide, 2.45 billion live in developing countries, it is not surprising that "cell phones are being used to make it faster and easier for migrants to send money, and even goods, home and to link poor people to formal banking networks," says the Hudson Institute's Yulya Spantchack.

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