Tag: #immigration

A Brief History of Migration and Remittances in India

Did you know indoor plumbing was invented in the Indus Valley?

This invention, along with many infrastructural changes first implemented in Indian metropolises, allowed civilizations to flourish over millennia in the Indian subcontinent.

The result has been nothing short of outstanding, with present-day India possessing the second-largest population in the world despite ranking eight in extension.

Thanks to its long and widespread history, India’s cultural heritage is impressively varied. Currently, there 22 official languages, with English being considered a subsidiary official language.

In honor of India’s Republic Day being celebrated this Sunday, January 26, we bring you the newest installment in our Brief Histories series. Continue reading to learn all about migration and remittances in India below.


Indian migration

India has the highest volume of emigration in the world, with 17.5 million natives living abroad. According to the Pew Research Center, one out of every twenty migrants worldwide was born in India. The majority of Indian expats live in the United Arab Emirates (3.4 million), the United States (2.7 million), and Saudi Arabia (2.4 million). However, the country doesn’t suffer from a dwindling population as only immigrants comprise only 1% of the total.

Based on stats from the Migration Data Portal, India’s international migrant stock equals 5.2 million, 0.4% of the population. Most immigrants come from Bangladesh (3.1 million), Pakistan (1.1 million), and Nepal (533.6 thousand), all of which share a border with India. Thanks to the gender parity found among immigrants, with 48.8% being women, newcomers are likely arriving as part of a family unit.

The impact of remittances in India

Last year, India received an estimated US$82.2 billion in remittances equating to 2.8% of the county’s GDP. If this number seems exorbitant, it’s because it is. India is the top-remittance receiving country in the world, a direct result of the high volume of emigration.

In correlation with current migration flocks, the highest volume of remittances to India come from the United Arab Emirates (US$13.8 billion), United States (US$11.7 billion), and Saudi Arabia (US$11.2 billion).

A Brief History of Migration and Remittances in Poland

Poland has a population of around 38.3 million people, positioning it as the 8th most populated country in Europe. Its climate is largely temperate and seasonal, with relatively warm summers and cold winters. Although Poland is widely known as a net migration country, its favorable economic conditions are pulling in an increasing number of migrant workers.

As part of our Brief Histories series, here we delve into Poland’s migration flows and their impact on remittances to and from the country.

Poland’s migration flows

Since 2004, many Polish migrants have moved to other countries within the European Union, particularly to France, Germany, and the UK, according to the World Bank. These are among the sixteen EU countries that signed bilateral agreements with Poland on seasonal employment. An estimated 4.3 million Poles have been recorded as living abroad.

Poland is increasingly becoming the chosen destination for many immigrants in search of job opportunities.

Owing to strong emotional ties between Polish migrants and their families back home, a significant proportion of them choose not to settle in their host country permanently. Many prefer instead to emigrate for up to six months for seasonal work, returning back to Poland for the remainder of the year.

Although Poland is typically known in the west as a predominantly migrant country, the tide is turning. Poland is increasingly becoming the chosen destination for many immigrants in search of job opportunities.

In 2017, Poland issued more visas to foreign workers than any other country in Europe. During that year alone, more than 680,000 foreigners were granted legal residency in Poland, a significant proportion of them from Ukraine. An estimated one to two million Ukrainian citizens currently work in Poland, many of which live there temporarily to meet seasonal employment needs.

The geographical proximity between the two countries, coupled with low travel costs, give Ukrainians more freedom to emigrate for short term periods. From the Polish city of Lublin, for example, a bus service runs 17 departures per day to Ukraine’s capital city, Kiev, affording Ukrainians more flexibility to return home to their families for large portions of the year.

Poland also counts with a fair share of immigration from countries like Germany (81,779), Belarus (81,363), and Lithuania (54,057).

It is also becoming increasingly common in Poland to see immigrants from South Asian countries, particularly Indians and Nepalese.

Impact on remittances in Poland

Polish immigration to other European countries has brought with it an increased volume of remittances. The highest volumes are sent from Germany (US$2.1 billion) and the United Kingdom (US$1.1 billion). In 2019, an estimated of US$6 billion were sent in remittances to Poland.

In correlation with the more recent migration flows to Poland, Ukraine is now the biggest recipient of remittances compared to all other European countries, according to figures from the World Bank. This is reflected in money transfers totalling around US$ 14.4 billion made in 2018 from Ukrainians in Poland.

Poland is no longer associated solely with high migration flows. Rather, it has become a country of choice for many migrants looking to make a better life for themselves and their families. The lower travel costs and cultural proximity between Poland and its neighboring countries offers migrants greater ease to move back and forth for seasonal work. This trend has led to a growth in money transfers, providing a higher standard of living for recipient-families. Ultimately, the relationship between show positive economic benefits for both sending and receiving countries.

Do you live in Poland and need to send money home? Check out the myRia app! Pay with cash or card and send to over 160 countries worldwide.


The World We Share: Tenzing’s Story

It’s been pouring over London all day when we meet with Tenzing. He’s dressed to impress, comfortable in his workspace, and ready to talk to us about his journey from India to London across the huge world we share.

Tenzing’s story begins in an area called the Seven Sisters of India, where he was born into a Nepalese family. Because this land used to be part of Nepal, most of the population is of Mongolian descent and speak Nepalese.

When I tell people here that I’m from India, they always tell me I don’t look it. The same thing happens to me when I visit central India. Even the way we talk in Hindi is different, so people there just assume we are foreigners,” shared Tenzing.

As a kid, Tenzing spent most of his time away from home. This is the case for many children in Indian who live far from major cities. In his hometown Darjeeling, a hill station famous for tea, it’s hard to pursue schooling past an elementary level. So, children are sent to the big metropolises across the country and to attend boarding schools.

The mentality back there is that you get a good education in boarding schools because you’re not being distracted by other matters. So, I moved around,” he says.


He lived in Calcutta for six years, where he pursued his bachelor’s in Business Administration and Marketing. He recalls that, even though he was still living within India, people still regarded him as a foreigner.

After graduating, pursuing a master’s abroad seemed like a natural progression for Tenzing. Some of his friends had moved to London and regarded the city as immigrant-friendly, so he packed his bags and set out to complete his MBA in Marketing.

The loneliness is different from when I was in boarding school. Back then, I could still travel to see my parents regularly, but, living here, I don’t see them often. Here, if you have any difficulties, you have to wait to get holidays and money for tickets,” shared Tenzing.

For the first year, Tenzing lived with a friend from college. Although he welcomed the familiarity at home, he did have to learn how to navigate life in the UK. Because the cost of living is very high, he had to make time to cook his own meals in order to survive. His parents did send him money, but it wasn’t enough to make ends meet without a job.

“Going outside and getting to know the culture was hard, but, since I knew how to speak English, it wasn’t that difficult,” says Tenzing. “The main difference is that people back home are more relaxed. People have time to chat with you or grab a cup of tea. They can sit for hours without thinking about what they have to do. Here, to meet with a friend, you have to book an appointment.”


For Tenzing, London is a land of opportunity. While he’s in good health and earning money, he sees himself staying in the UK. Although he’s fond of his family and his country, going back would imply starting over and leaving behind everything he’s achieved so far.

Back in Darjeeling, his siblings are already involved in the family business, which his father built from the ground up.

“When my father was growing up, they didn’t have many luxuries. He was the eldest, and everyone before him had been a farmer. So, he started his own business and gave opportunities to my uncles and everyone even though he didn’t have that much formal schooling,” he shared.

Even though his father couldn’t speak English, he kept going. He brought up four children and was able to send them all to boarding school.

There were a lot of sacrifices from his part, and hopefully I’ll grow up to be like him. He went from the village to the towns creating his good name. Everybody knows him,” Tenzing added.


Soon, Tenzing will visit home for the first time in three years. As he reflects upon the trip, he regrets the time he’s missed. His uncle’s daughter was born over a year ago, and he has yet to meet her.

Once you have your own family, you are even more occupied with your personal life. Your parents are also getting older, so you want to spend more time with them. Sometimes I want to bring them here and show them around where I live, where I work,” says Tenzing. “If I have enough money someday, then yeah, I’d move back and talk for hours with a cup of tea.”

Tenzing is our Sales Manager for Ria in the UK and one of the 258 million migrants who have left their home countries in search of something more. While their experiences and sacrifices are different, they all share a common goal: making the most of the world we share to create a better life for themselves and their families.

Ria is made up of people like Tenzing, committed to their roots and devoted to their host countries. As a company of immigrants for immigrants, it is our duty and honor to serve the millions of families around the world who depend on our money transfer services to open ways for a better everyday life.

The World We Share: Meet Dualeh

It wasn’t until he moved to London that Dualeh learned trees could lose their leaves. In his native Somalia, it’s always summer and children are rowdy and free to run around the fields.

In London, Dualeh was to be well behaved and adhere to a curfew, keeping him inside the small home he shared with his aunt and cousins more often than he would’ve liked.

Given he could barely speak English upon arrival, attending a local school proved to be a major challenge. Without enough vocabulary to express himself, Dualeh struggled with most classes and wasn’t able to ask for help from his teachers.

But math? That was another story. Math was easy in comparison to what we used to do in Somalia. Even when you are little, the math you are taught is very advanced. For us, algebra is nothing. I would finish the practice super quickly and would have to wait for the rest of the class to be done. Then, people would ask me how I had done the equations, but I didn’t know how to explain. I’d tell them, ‘Give me your pen, and I’ll show you how to do it,’” said Dualeh.

somalian migrant in business shirt

In due time, Dualeh made his way to college and became interested in IT. Despite his fascination for technology, his life plan remained unaltered: to graduate from college as quickly as possible and land a job in retail. And that might’ve been the story if it wasn’t for one of his teachers, Ebow, who made him question his decisions.

Ebow recognized Dualeh’s potential and encouraged him to apply to 10 universities around the United Kingdom. With Ebow’s recommendation letter, Dualeh decided to give it a shot.

“I had never thought of myself attending university or anything of the sort, but we did it. I applied, and eight out of the ten universities said yes. I hadn’t even finished college. Here, in the UK, you usually need to have finished your A-levels. I couldn’t believe it. Not even my English was good enough yet,” Dualeh shared.

somalian in front of business building

To this day, Ebow and Dualeh are best friends. They’ll meet up to have dinner once in a while and keep in touch by phone. For Dualeh, Ebow has been the most influential person in his life, and the same goes for many other students. Ebow had a habit of opening up his classroom after school so students could use the space to study and ask him questions. During his college years, Dualeh saw thousands of students come into his sessions, even some who were already in university and needed help with projects and dissertations.

Although Dualeh was excited to pursue a degree in IT, university wasn’t a walk in the park.

“I nearly dropped out within the first seven months because the classes were so tough. But I started staying at the library day and night, and when the tests came, I was first in my class,” remembers Dualeh.

Now, Dualeh works at Ria UK’s IT department and is married with two kids. Every couple of years, he’ll visit Somalia to see his parents, yet he can’t help but feel his children need to spend more time in their motherland.

“In my country, you don’t feel alone because everybody is like family. The children are playing outside, and if anything happens, anyone can come up to you and tell you to behave, even if you aren’t related. That’s how our community is. Everybody’s looking after you,” he shared.

somalian migrant wearing ria ribbon

Customer Stories: Meet Ofelia, a loving, long-distance mother

By the time we reach Praça de Figueira, Ofelia’s photochromic lenses have turned purple. It’s a windy morning in early fall, but the sun is keeping the plaza at a pleasant temperature. Ofelia’s excited to participate but confesses showing up took some convincing from her sister. She says she’s not sure there’s a story to tell but seems eager to talk as we press record.

As we begin our conversation, Ofelia shares it’s been six years since she left her native Philippines. When we ask why she left, she warns us the reason is far from joyous. In 2004, her husband died of cancer at the age of 40. Now a widow, Ofelia became the sole provider and caretaker for the three sons he left behind: a seven-year-old, a six-year-old, and a 9-month-old baby.

“At the beginning it was fine,” she says. “My sister helped me, and, since the kids were small, so were the expenses. But as they got older, my salary wasn’t enough.”

Ofelia started searching for new opportunities, trying to find a way to make ends meet as a single mother. That’s when her sister suggested she moved to Portugal with her. It was a tough decision, leaving her kids behind in the Philippines, but her sister insisted, “I can invite you here, and then you can decide whether you want to work or go back,” she would tell her.

In the end, Ofelia chose to stay and work, driven by the possibility of giving her children a better quality of life. “When I first got here, I worked as a caregiver. I had previous experience, but it’s difficult to work with people who are bigger than you when you’re the one supposed to carry them,” she says.

It took a couple of career switches until Ofelia found a job she truly enjoyed. She now works in domestic services and finds the pay is good, and the schedules are flexible. As Ofelia explains the details of her working week, there is a triumphant air about her. Yet, her voice cracks as she thinks back on her family.

“The biggest challenge I’ve faced was leaving my kids. I remember thinking I was too emotional, but I feel all mothers are. I cried a lot, and I still do. I didn’t see them for three years when I first came because I needed to sort out my paperwork. I still long for them, but now I go home yearly, so at least I have that time to be with them,” she shares.

Although there are seven thousand miles between them and a seven-hour time gap, Ofelia still manages to be a present mother. She calls her children every day and is in touch with all their teachers so she can make sure they’re doing good in school. Her youngest son, now 15, is an honor student. “At least with that, I forget that I work so hard. It makes me stronger,” she tells him.

The biggest challenge I’ve faced was leaving my kids. I remember thinking I was too emotional, but I feel all mothers are. I cried a lot, and I still do.

Of course, it’s not all rainbows. “It has been devasting,” Ofelia shares, “whenever I hear, ‘Mom, I’m sick,’ because I can’t be there. All I can do is tell them to go to the doctor. They have to take care of each other.”

For Ofelia, missing home is a disadvantage of going abroad, especially when it comes to the language. Although she has friends in Portugal, she fears it’s not the same. She misses her culture and bonding with her friends.

“It has been devasting whenever I hear, ‘Mom, I’m sick,’ because I can’t be there. All I can do is tell them to go to the doctor. They have to take care of each other.”

Despite the challenges, she does grow fonder of Lisbon every day. “There are good people here, good food, and beautiful places. The weather is also great. We don’t have winter in my country, so it’s nice. I’m beginning to like it, really,” she says. “Also, the pollution. The air here is so clean compared to the Philippines. Good for people with asthma. My three kids have asthma, like their father. Still, when I think about my country, I feel lonely.”

Ofelia gets to visit home every year, but still wishes she could spend Christmas with her kids. Right now, it’s hard to get enough days off work to make the trip during the holiday season.

As we take her pictures, Ofelia poses willingly. She’s happy to be out and about, walking down streets as our photographer snaps a few shots from across the road. “I hope they turn out good,” she jokes, “I’m still single!”.

A World Without Immigrants

Forget massive stocks of fresh produce, your MacBook and every other Hollywood film. Immigrants, comprising less than 4% of the world population, have made many, if not most, of our favorite things possible.

From Arianna Huffington to Sundar Pichai, the C-suites of many beloved companies are made up of foreigners, including ours.

Because we live it first-hand, we are firm believers that diversity and inclusion are the driving forces behind innovation. But you don’t need to take our word for it.

Let’s explore the many ways in which migrants make the world a better place and what our societies would look like if everyone closed up their borders.

The impact on host economies

Out of all the billion-dollar startups headquartered in the country, 55% have been completely or partially founded by an immigrant.

As far as Canada is concerned, even counting with the inflow of immigrants (80% of the country’s population growth), the expected worker-to-retiree ratio for 2035 is of 2 to 1, a sharp decrease from the 1971 ratio of 7 to 1.

While the ratio continues to catch up, the immigrant community already in Canada have created 1,100 new Canadian companies, 60,000 new jobs and have filled 24,000 high-skilled vacancies.

In Europe, a study conducted by the French National Center for Investigation (CNRS), migrants have had a positive macroeconomic impact in 15 countries in western Europe between 1985 and 2015. 

For aging countries where death rates outnumber birth rates, growing the economy and revitalizing industries are not the only reasons youth injections are needed.

Retirees tend to be passive citizens, relying on pensions and government aid. It is up to the current workforce to replenishing government funds through taxes. But, what happens when there are more retired individuals than working ones?

For Spain, where the native-born population is in a constant decline and pension funding still represents a major challenge, immigration meant the population was able to increase by 276,186 in 2018.

Overall, immigrants represented a 70% increase in the European workforce and a 47% increase in the American one.

The impact on home countries

As impressive as the migrant economic output is within host countries, the most extraordinary phenomenon of all is the amount of money they are able to send home despite low salaries.

In 2018, migrant workers sent US$529 billion in remittances to low- and middle-income countries, a flow of funds that represented as much as 35% of a given country’s GDP.

This year, remittances are expected to surpass foreign direct investment after nearly a decade outperforming international aid by a threefold.

Depending on how remittances are used at the receiving end, they can help boost education, increase health coverage and promote investment.

A UNESCO (United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization) study found that remittance-receiving households increased education spending by 35% in 18 countries in Sub-Saharan Africa and Asia and by an average of 53% in Latin America.

Another study conducted at the North South University in Bangladesh found that surveyed remittance-receiving families allocated more than 25% of remittances for education and health.

In Mexico, international remittances are behind 25% of all capital invested in small and micro-enterprises, with regions with higher levels of migration to the United States investing as much as 40%.

If you’re interested, you can explore this topic more in-depth by reading our A Case for Affordable Remittances white paper here.

What is safe to say is that immigrants contribute to societies all over the world, and without them, international organizations would have to come up with at least three times as much aid funding for developing nations while citizens of rich countries would be forced to expand population beyond their economic capacity of personal preference.

The world belongs to everyone for we each have a vital role to play in its development. Let’s stand together and continue growing in the direction of a better quality of life for all.

A Brief History of Remittances and Immigration in Canada


We dont talk enough about Canadian immigration even though it is one of the largest melting pots by ratio. Last year alone, Canada admitted 321,065 immigrants. And, for the many migrant workers living in the Great White North, we also have big news! 

We just launched Rias Canadian transactional website, a platform through which customers can send money to their loved ones from the comfort of their homes. 

To celebrate, lets take a look at immigration in Canada and how it impacts remittances worldwide. 

Migrating to Canada 

Out of all members of the G8 (now G7), a council made up of the worlds most industrialized nations, the Great White North has the highest proportion of immigrants. Were talking about 7.5 million migrants, representing 20% of the overall population. 

As of today, the largest expat communities in Canada are Indian (668,565 residents) and Chinese (649,260), with most immigrants coming from Asia (Middle East inclusive). Hence, its not surprising that Chinese languages, Tagalog, Spanish and Punjabi are the most widely spoken after the official languages, English and French.  

Most immigrants in Canada live within the urban areas of Ontario, British Colombia, Quebec and Alberta, with the biggest concentrations found in Toronto, Montréal and Vancouver. 

Shapevia Canada.ca 

According to the last census, between British Columbia, Ontario and Nova Scotia, immigrants own 1,825,580 properties, which would account for around 23% of the migrant population. However, this number does include immigrants who own multiple houses. 

That being said, is it possible for immigrants to purchase homes? 

Well, their median income is of CA$55,700, while refugees who have been in the country for five years have a median income of CA$21,700.  Although less than half, this number had seen a 29% increase by 2016. 

Canada’s impact on remittances 

According to the World Bank, the top destinations for remittances sent from Canada in 2018 were China (US$4.144 billion), India (US$2.877 billion), Philippines (US$2.37 billion), France (US$1.297 billion), Vietnam (US$953 million), and Lebanon (US$853 million). 

However, a 2017 Canadian study focusing on residents born in Official Development Assistance-eligible countries (ODA), found that the Filipino community had made the most money transfers to friends and family that year. 

In general ODA terms, the majority of remitters were born in Southeast Asia and Oceania (57%) followed by Eastern Asia (11%). 

The study also found 59% o remitters sent money abroad to pay for living expenses like food and housing, while 43% sent money to pay for medical expenses. The most popular sending method among respondents was in-person at a money transfer store. 

In essence, its no surprise that many people like moving to Canada. The Great White North might be cold, but it sure is welcoming. 

Financial Inclusion: What We Need to Make it Work

Financial inclusion sounds like a great idea, but many of us are not aware of what exactly it entails. How do we truly bring this solution to communities in need, and how do these communities then thrive because of it?

Today, we’ll be answering the central questions surrounding financial inclusion, its adaptation, proliferation and eventual impact on marginalized societies worldwide.

Let’s take a look.

What is financial inclusion?

When we talk about fighting poverty, there are many approaches to be taken. It can mean ending world hunger by teaching communities to farm sustainably. It can also mean introducing universal health coverage to ensure medical treatment is available to every human on the planet.

But when we talk about financial inclusion, we are talking specifically about bringing those excluded from the financial system into it.

For the World Bank, financial inclusion is achieved when “individuals and businesses have access to useful and affordable financial products and services that meet their needs – transactions, payments, savings, credit and insurance – delivered in a responsible and sustainable way.”

And to measure its proliferation, the FII (Financial Inclusion Institute) analyzes it “as the percentage of adults (15+ years old) who report having at least one account in their name with an institution that offers a full suite of financial services, and comes under some form of government regulation.”

For us as an international community, achieving financial inclusion means actively reaching several Sustainable Development Goals such as eradicating poverty, ending hunger, ensuring health and well-being, promoting economic growth and jobs and reducing inequality.

via World Bank Blogs

How is it established?

According to the FII, unbanked adults need access to five basic financial services: savings, credit, money transfers, insurance and investment. These could be gained through banks, mobile money service provides or nonbank financial institutions.

However, individuals that possess accounts solely connected to microfinance institutions (MFIs) or that access financial services indirectly through a friend or a third-party account are not considered financially included. The same can be said for those who only use money guards, savings collectors or digital recharge cards.

Instead, financial inclusion is delivered and established through banks, credit unions and cooperatives, as well as businesses that offer innovative services, often tied to technology, that reach those living in rural areas with no access to traditional channels.

What is the impact?

Before truly grasping the impact of financial inclusion, we have to understand what it means to be financially excluded. When a person lacks a financial identity, it means they can’t receive government aid, apply for credit or take out loans. This encourages and sustains day-to-day living, what is known in the rich world as paycheck-to-paycheck, and chains these underserved adults to a cycle of poverty.

Through financial inclusion, the cycle can be broken. When unbanked individuals gain access to financial services, they can begin saving for unforeseen circumstances or investment, take out mortgages, launch small enterprises or plan ahead for recurring expenses such as school tuitions. Above all, it creates a safe and efficient channel through which to receive money, what we call remittances, from loved ones living abroad.

via World Bank

How do we ensure financial inclusion is achieved?

The World Bank Group launched the Universal Financial Access 2020 (UFA2020) initiative, which intends to enable one billion adults to access what they call “the basic building block to manage their financial lives,” a transaction account to store money. The project counts with over 30 partners who have pledged to further financial inclusion.

At the same time, money transfer operators, banks and post offices—the more well-known routes for sending funds to middle and low-income countries—are also working together to implement innovative solutions to extend their reach even further.

Hopefully, you now have a better grasp on financial inclusion and how it’s been put in place. If you have any other question, feel free to ask away in the comments below or start a conversation with us on Twitter!

A Brief History of Migration and Remittances in Ukraine

Throughout its history, Ukraine has been caught in the crossfire of clashing civilizations, a phenomenon that has deeply marked the country’s identity. Even its Proto-Slavic name, “Ukraine,” means “borderland.” 

At its historical height, Ukraine had become the center of the largest and most powerful European state, Kyvian Rus, which set the foundation for modern-day Ukrainian culture. And although the independent state only lasted from around the year 880 to the early 13th century, Ukraine remains a strategic convergence point in the East. 

After fending off those looking to profit from its location, Ukraine declared its independence in 1918, but was absorbed by the Soviet Union shortly thereafter. At last, with the fall of Soviet Russia, Ukraine gained its permanent independence on August 24, 1991. 

To honor Ukraine’s 28th birthday, let’s take a look at the country’s relationship with migration and remittances. 

Ukrainian migration 

Although the most recent statistics report 5.9 million Ukrainians living abroad, there is reason to believe the number is much higher. 

For instance, despite a heavy inflow of immigrants, Ukraine’s population has decreased from 51,838,500 to 42,153,200 in the past 30 years. 

In 2017, the World Bank observed a 22% jump in remittances from US$9.47 billion in 2016 to US$12 billion, suggesting a parallel increase in Ukrainian expatriates. 

infographic of immigration and remittances in ukraine 

At the same time, an estimate of 5 million immigrants are currently residing in Ukraine, the majority hailing from the Russian Federation (nearly 3.5 million), Belarus (258,000) and Kazakhstan (234,000). 

According to the Migration Data Portal, Ukraine has a fair migration governance system. While there is still room for growth regarding crisis-related displacement and university fees for internationals, there are many laws already put in place that preserve the integrity of immigrants from access to social security to affordable primary and secondary education. 

Ukraine received $14.4 billion in remittances last year, equating to 11.4% of the country’s GDP, according to the World Bank. Unsurprisingly, most of these remittances originated in the Russian Federation (over US$4 billion), followed by the United States (US$629 million) and Germany (US$369 million). 

However, Ukraine is also an important source of remittances for countries like Moldova (US$249 million), Georgia (US$145 million) and Belarus (US$184 million). On top of that,Ukraine residents also manage to send back US$2.5 billion to the Russian Federation and US$259 million to Germany. 

This shows a symbiotic relationship between sending and receiving destinations, which in turn could indicate a larger convergence between Eastern Europeans than the region’s history would have us believe.