Maximizing the impact of remittances on development.
There are almost 250 million international migrants worldwide, living outside the country they call home. Throughout history, there have always been people who have chosen to move, seeking better opportunities for themselves and for their families.
However, the scale of migration in the 21st century, from rural to urban areas, and across national borders, is unprecedented.
No matter how many people leave home, many more stay behind. It is estimated that family remittances – the money sent back by migrant workers to their relatives – support 750 million people worldwide. When the number of senders and receivers are summed up, remittances directly touch the lives of one in every seven people on earth.
The majority of migrant workers send money home several times a year, typically between US$200 and US$300, several times a year. While these amounts may appear to be relatively small, they often constitute 50 per cent or more of the migrant’s family’s income in their home country.
Remittance transactions worldwide reached a total of over US$450 billion in 2015 - more than three times the amount of official development assistance from all sources combined.
What we do
IFAD's Financing Facility for Remittances (FFR) aims to maximize the impact of remittances on development, and to promote migrants' engagement in their countries of origin.
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.
As a result, poor rural households that receive remittances are becoming more financially independent.
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, the www.RemittancesGateway.org web portal, and the Global Forums on Remittances, Investment and Development (GFRIDs).
GFRIDs are inclusive international forums, hosted by IFAD, in collaboration with key development organizations and other international Financial Institutions (IFIs).
Over the past decade, these Forums have brought together international stakeholders from all sectors involved in remittances, migration and development. Focusing on a different region each time, they aim to raise awareness, promote dialogue, stimulate partnerships and create long-lasting synergies.
Past forums have been held in Milan (Europe, 2015), Bangkok (Asia, 2013), Tunis (Africa, 2009) and Washington (global, 2007).
The last edition of the Forum – GFRID2017 – was jointly organized by the World Bank and the United Nations Department of Economic and Social Affairs (UN-DESA). It was held at the United Nations Headquarters in New York on 15 and 16 June 2017.
The Global Forum coincided with the first International Day of Family Remittances on 16 June 2017. The event aimed at raising 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.
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Remittances, investments and the Sustainable Development Goals: recommended actions
In 2015, Member States of the United Nations issued a call to action to eradicate global poverty, reduce economic inequality and place the world on a more sustainable pathway: the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development.
This comprehensive undertaking affirms the need to reach 17 specific Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and proposes several ways
to mobilize the additional resources required to realize this ambitious – but achievable – agenda.
Global Forum on Remittances, Investment and Development 2017 - Recommendations
On 15 and 16 June 2017, on the occasion of the International Day of Family Remittances, over 350 practitioners from the public and private sectors gathered at the United Nations headquarters in New York for the fifth Global Forum on Remittances, Investment and Development (GFRID). The participants had the opportunity to discuss challenges and opportunities in the remittance market, and present innovative approaches and successful business models, framing the discussions around the role of migrants’ remittances and investment towards achieving the Sustainable Development Goals (SGDs) by 2030.
Research Series Issue 15 - Remittances, growth and poverty reduction in Asia
Remittances have increased in low-income and lower- middle-income countries in recent years, playing an important role as a stable source of finance at the macro-level, and in poverty reduction at the micro-level.
Drawing on a critical review of the literature and econometric analyses based on cross-country panel data, this study examines the relationships among remittances, growth and poverty reduction in Asia and the Pacific and highlights policy implications to be considered by governments and policy-makers.