Remittances and Diaspora in Post-Conflict States: The Case of Liberia
July 18, 2013
Remittances have been an important source of income for many Liberian households in Liberia, other West African countries, and refugee camps both during the civil war and in its aftermath. The war that ended officially in 2003 left the country devastated. The physical infrastructure, economic framework and governance structures were barely existent. Hundreds of thousands of Liberians had left and/or fled the country while those who remained behind had no jobs, no skills, no education or prospects. Beyond sending remittances the diaspora has also been brainstorming ways in which to leverage funds for greater and larger-scale business and infrastructure investment initiatives. More recently the Liberian government has begun to design incentives for the diaspora to return and to aid in human capacity building, too. This paper aims to contribute an understanding of the size, channels and importance of remittances to Liberia in an effort to investigate the actual and potential impact of remittances in post-conflict states. Attention will also be paid to the extent to which the diaspora has contributed to peace building and reconstruction and how these efforts might continue to do so in the future.
Date posted: July 18, 2013
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