According to the World Bank, in 2016, international migrants from developing countries spent $445 billion in remittances to their home countries. Even if this sum doesn’t include the money sent using unofficial channels, it accounts for more than three times the official development assistance from all sources.
This money is spent on food, healthcare, education and improved housing and sanitation, contributing to lift people out of poverty.
Anyway, remittances are not only used for immediate consumption and family needs but also for savings and investments. For instance, small enterprises, commercial activities and local projects, especially aimed at improving common infrastructures as schools, health or religious centers, are supported by remittances.
Here, our article (Italian language) about remittances from Italy, written for neodemos.it.