The global financial crunch has affected many countries around the world and Grenada has not been spared of its effectss.
The tourism and travel industries has had its share and on a more personal level the income of people who depend on monies from their families in foreign countries have been more severely affected.
Receiving money from relatives or friends in the US, Canada or UK every month can make a huge difference in the standard of living for most people in the developing world including Grenada.
The money we receive from our relatives and friends are called remittances and have been a critical means of financial support for generations and contribute significantly to Grenada’s economy.
Statistics as of December 2008 from the statistics department within the Ministry of Finance indicated that remittances accounted for approxiamtely 30% of Grenada’s GDP, second to Tourism which is currently the main revenue earning for the country while agriculture accounted for approxiamately 7.5% of GDP.
The main avenue for receiving remittances is electronic money transfer outlets like Money, and reports are that there has been a sharp decline in the amount of monies received since the start of the meltdown.
Geo. F Huggins & Co. Ltd is the local agent for Money Gram, and Divisional Manager Ligham Samuel says there has been an approximated 30% drop in remittances during 2008.
According to the manager, the most significantly affected are the rural parishes. Statistics maintained by the company’s Grenville branch shows a decline of 17% in remittances recieved in the rural parish of St. Patrick compared to the other parishes which calls for concern.
Over the last couple years there has been a consistent 30% increase in the amount of remittances, but there has been a steep drop within the last few months, which the manager expects to continue.
In 2007 remittances accounted for 4.8% of Grenada’s National Income.