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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 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.

Related news

New report shows 51 per cent increase in money migrants sent home over last decade, with US as top sending country

Юни 2017 - NEWS
Press launch on 14 June in New York: this Report is the first-ever study of ten-year trends in migration and remittance flows and shows regional breakdowns over the period 2007-2016. Its analysis and recommendations set the stage for discussions at the Global Forum on Remittances, Investment and Development 2017, taking place on 15-16 June at UN Headquarters in New York. The Forum is organized by IFAD, the World Bank and the UN Department of Economic and Social Affairs (UN-DESA).

Post offices are key to scaling up remittances and financial inclusion in Uganda

Юни 2017 - NEWS
The International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD), Postbank of Uganda (PBU) and Posta Uganda signed a grant agreement today aimed at expanding the role of postal networks in the delivery of remittances and access to financial inclusion across the country.

International Day of Family Remittances: IFAD President calls for more support of the families of migrants to help them build a more secure future

Юни 2017 - NEWS
Marking the third International Day of Family Remittances on June 16, the President of the International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD) reminded more than 400 policymakers, private-sector stakeholders and civil-society representatives of the key role they play to support the more than 200 million migrants who send money home.

Related publications

Global Forum on Remittances, Investment and Development 2017 – Official Report

Февруари 2018
Remittances constitute a critical lifeline for around 1 billion people around the world. These vital flows of private money, sent by over 200 million international migrant workers, help families raise their living standards and contribute to improved health, education and housing. 

Remittances, investments and the Sustainable Development Goals: recommended actions

Юни 2017

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

Юни 2017

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.