Cambodians working in South Korea sent $21,125,907 back home via Acleda Bank Plc in the first half of this year, the bank’s president and CEO In Channy said on Wednesday.

“I think more money will be sent home in the second half due to national festivals such as Pchum Ben and the Water Festival,” said Channy.

He said workers made 10,880 transactions at an average of $2,000, an amount that helps boost their families’ income.

“It is the main income for their family’s daily needs, it helps them create new businesses that enable them to earn more money,” he said.

Last year, he said, Cambodian workers in South Korea sent home more than $53 million via the bank.

Chhay Phalla, 38, whose husband has been working in South Korea for more than 15 years, said her husband earns around $2,000 per month there.

“On average, my husband sends me about $500 per month to spend on our children’s education, food and medicine.

“Since my husband has been working in Korea, my family’s life has been better – I built a tile house and bought two plots of land.”

Ministry of Labor and Vocational Training spokesman Heng Sour said the ministry did not have data on remittances for the first half of this year.

According to the National Bank of Cambodia’s (NBC’s) data, Cambodians working abroad sent home a total of $1.4 billion last year, up 11 per cent from 2017.

The NBC’s balance sheet, which records the remittances of people working overseas via financial institutions, shows that money sent from Thailand accounted for 68 per cent of total remittances and Korea 21.5 per cent.

Remittances from Japan accounted for 3.3 per cent, while Malaysia was 2.5 per cent.

Figures from the ministry show that there are 1,235,993 Cambodian migrant workers, of whom 1,146,685 are in Thailand, 49,099 in Korea, 30,113 in Malaysia, 831 in Singapore, 54 in Hong Kong and 16 in Saudi Arabia.