World Bank finds upward trend in remittances from Sweden
According to World Bank figures for 2017, approximately US$1.6 billion (SEK15 billion) was sent from Sweden as remittances to other countries, equivalent to approximately one third of Sweden's total ODA budget. However, the estimates from the Swedish statistics bureau are much lower, placing remittances at approximately US$420 million (SEK4 billion) per year. The large discrepancy relates to uncertainty around the data for these figures, given the difficulty in measuring this type of financial flow.
Both the World Bank and Statistics Sweden both agree that remittances are continuing to trend upwards and is becoming increasingly important as a source of development financing. Accordingly, the United Nations (UN) is striving to reduce transaction costs on transfers from current levels of 7-10% to 3%. Sida, the Swedish development agency, has been supporting these efforts through its regional strategy for development cooperation with Africa for 2016-2021.
This topic has also launched a debate in Sweden on how to better include migrants and diaspora populations into development cooperation efforts.