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Maximizing the impact of remittances on development

Remittances and development

Over the past two decades, remittances have emerged as an important contribution to the well-being of migrant families and the development of communities of origin. In 2021, despite consequences of the COVID-19 pandemic, over 200 million migrant workers sent to their 800 million family members in developing countries US$605 billion, a figure representing more than three times the annual flow of official development assistance (ODA) and exceeding foreign direct investment (FDI).

Remittances are a private source of capital that should not be equated with other international financial flows. However, they can help lift millions of migrant families out of poverty, touching the lives of up to one billion people, either as senders or recipients. They allow migrants and their family members to improve their access to health, education and housing, thereby helping achieve their own Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).

Maximizing the impact of remittances on development

Since 2006, IFAD's multi-donor Financing Facility for Remittances (FFR) aims to maximize the impact of remittances on development, and to promote migrants' engagement in their countries of origin.

Through the financing of almost 70 projects in over 40 countries, the FFR is successfully increasing the impact of remittances on development by promoting innovative investments and transfer modalities; supporting financially inclusive mechanisms; enhancing competition; empowering migrants and their families through financial education and inclusion; and encouraging migrant investment and entrepreneurship.

The FFR is also an important source of knowledge on remittances: global estimates of remittances in developing countries were published for the first time in its Sending Money Home reports.

It contributes to policy dialogue through actionable research and the Global Forum on Remittances, Investment and Development (GFRID), bringing together stakeholders from around the world involved in the field of remittances, migration and development, and stimulating the creation of partnerships and long-lasting synergies among public and private sectors, and the civil society. Past forums were held in Kuala Lumpur (Asia-Pacific, 2018), United Nations Headquarters in New York (global, 2017), Milan (Europe, 2015), Bangkok (Asia, 2013), Tunis (Africa, 2009) and Washington (global, 2007). The next forum will be held virtually in June 2021.

The FFR also coordinated the effort towards formal adoption of the International Day of Family Remittances  (16 June) by the United Nations General Assembly. The day aims to raise awareness of the fundamental contribution of migrant workers not only to their families and communities back home, but also to wider sustainable development in their countries of origin. In 2020, IFAD launched the IDFR campaign - Building resilience in times of crisis, to engage public and private sector entities in supporting one billion people - migrants and their families - build resilience in times of crisis, by taking action towards reduction of transfer costs and provision of financial services.

Since 2019, the FFR has been implementing the Platform for Remittances, Investments and Migrants' Entrepreneurship in Africa (PRIME Africa) programme, aimed at maximizing the impact of remittances for millions of families in Africa, contributing to foster local economic opportunities in the migrants' countries of origin.

The FFR is cofinanced by IFAD, the European Union, the Grand-Duchy of Luxembourg, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Spain and the Swedish International Development Cooperation Agency (Sida).

Stay updated

We provide regular updates on the challenges facing remittance families. For more information, please contact us at remittances@ifad.org.

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Call for Proposals: Remittance Innovation Champions 2022 South Africa

September 2022 - NEWS
The Financing Facility for Remittances (FFR) of IFAD is pleased to announce the Remittance Innovation Champions 2022 – South Africa (RIC22-SA) Call for Proposals.

Ghana: Public-private sector partnerships to drive digital and financial inclusion in rural areas

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IFAD announced partnerships on Tuesday to slash the cost of migrant remittances to Ghana with financial services providers Ecobank Ghana and Fidelity Bank and pan-African fintech MFS Africa, aiming to boost a vital source of income for a country grappling with the economic impact of the COVID pandemic and Ukraine war.

Mobile remittances to lead digital revolution in marginal rural areas in five African countries thanks to IFAD grant funded by the EU

September 2022 - NEWS
IFAD announced today its first grant to a digital payments company, MFS Africa, to promote the use of mobile remittances in marginal rural areas in five African countries: Ghana, Kenya, Senegal, The Gambia and Uganda.

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International Day of Family Remittances – Observance events 2022

June 2022 - EVENT
The International Day of Family Remittances helps raise awareness of migrants’ crucial contribution to the development of their communities of origin.

Enhancing the contribution of migrants in the post COVID-19 era

May 2022 - EVENT
This International Migration Review Forum (IMRF) side event—hosted by IFAD, UN DESA, and the World Bank—focuses on migrants’ contribution to sustainable development. It will provide concrete suggestions on how to promote objectives 19 and 20 of the Global Compact for Migration.

eGFRID - Remittances and investment: how migrants finance sustainable development

January 2022 - EVENT
The next eGFRID webinar, jointly hosted by IFAD and the European Commission (EC), will focus on the topic of “Remittances and investment: How migrants finance sustainable development.”

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12 reasons why remittances are important

June 2022 - STORY
Remittances continue to matter more than ever, particularly in rural areas where they count the most and provide further opportunities towards rural transformation. Here are 12 reasons why.

11 reasons why remittances are important

June 2021 - STORY
Every year, on 16 June, the International Day of Family Remittances (IDFR) is observed to raise further awareness on the abnegation and sacrifice of migrant workers, who support their families and communities of origin through the money they send back home, particularly in these times of crisis.

Sending money home: ten reasons why remittances matter

June 2019 - STORY
The International Day of Family Remittances is observed every year on 16 June in recognition of the fundamental contribution of migrant workers to their families and communities back home and to the sustainable development of their countries of origin.

Helping remittances reach rural areas in Moldova

March 2021 - STORY
For some time now, it has been difficult to find well-paid work in Moldova. Most of the good jobs available are concentrated in the cities, resulting in significant migration out of the country’s rural areas.

Stay at home! Savings, contingencies and electronic wallet use

May 2020 - STORY
Without initially knowing it, last year more than 13,000 young women in Colombia began to prepare for the current economic and social impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic.

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RemitSCOPE: South Africa Country Diagnostic

September 2022
The South Africa country diagnostic has been prepared in accordance with the PRIME Africa goals, to provide more in-depth analysis and additional evidence for the areas of action identified in the country road map.

RemitSCOPE: The Gambia Country Diagnostic

September 2022
The Gambia country diagnostic has been prepared in accordance with the PRIME Africa goals, to provide more in-depth analysis and additional evidence for the areas of action identified in the country road map.

RemitSCOPE: Ghana Country Diagnostic

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This Ghana country diagnostic was prepared in accordance with the PRIME Africa goals.

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