“Migration and remittances mapping the sending channels and the management of remittances in Cambodia: the case of three provinces” studies the remittance behaviour of Cambodian migrant workers and the effects of remittances on the livelihoods of their families. The primary data for analysis were collected from a household survey of 500 migrant households conducted in the three provinces of Banteay Meanchey, Siem Reap and Battambang in September 2015. The study was carried out as a component of the Migra-Safe project, co-funded by the European Union.
Through comparative analysis before and after migration periods, the study demonstrates the immediate positive effects of migration flows on household living conditions: meeting basic consumption needs, improving housing conditions and affording better health care. The researchers found that migration can be associated with positive behavioural changes in borrowing and saving activities, with a shift from the overwhelming reliance on moneylenders to formal bank, microfinance, NGO or community loans, as well as renewed interest in savings groups.
However, migration seems to have a disruptive impact on community development due to the absence of productive labour, which reduces community participation and civic engagement. Long-term effects of massive migration are difficult to forecast and a concern emerges regarding the social changes family members left behind face.
Researchers conclude that local initiatives, such as development of a vocational-orientated education system and new forms of social and economic participation in community life, are becoming increasingly important socioeconomic development strategies. They might lead to the perseverance of short-term capital and its subsequent investment in further development of the community with creation of new employment opportunities for young people.
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