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New £2.5 million research centre into migration, globalisation and poverty

* 5 November 2002 *

New £2.5 million research centre into migration, globalisation and poverty

A multi-million pound government-funded research centre to explore the links between migration, globalisation and poverty is to be based at the University of Sussex.

The £2.5 million award from the Department for International Development (DfID) will fund a five-year Development Research Centre to be directed by Dr Richard Black. Out of 102 submissions, only two were successful, including the one from Sussex. The project is currently in its inception phase.

"We're very pleased that DfID is funding research into the issue of migration, which we feel is very important to outcomes for poor people around the world," says Dr Black.

"In the past, migration has generally been seen as reflecting the failure of development, or worse, as contributing to a vicious circle in which poverty is reinforced," says Dr Black. "However, there is now growing recognition that migration, whether internal or international, can also represent an important route out of poverty."

The centre will investigate the potential for migration to reduce poverty, for example the potential uses of money sent home by migrants working abroad, known as the remittance economy.

"When you have a global remittances at around 100 billion US dollars per year, there surely is potential for a beneficial impact," argues Dr Black.

Taking neither a pro- or anti-migration position, the centre will also aim to provide useful information to potential migrants.

"The aim is not to stimulate migration but to influence policy that is relevant to migration in a way that maximises the benefit of migration to the poorest, and to protect the poor from negative consequences of migration," says Dr Black.

"One of the things we're interested in doing is developing a safe migration handbook that would be aimed at poor migrants to give them better information," says Dr Black. "We'll also be looking at how people weigh up destinations, particularly internal versus international migration."

The new centre will draw on partnerships with academics at the University of Dhaka in Bangladesh, the University of Ghana, the American University in Cairo and the Centre for Economic and Social Studies in Tirana, Albania.

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