Migrant workers contribute to economic stability in their own countries

Public, private and civil society partners meet at IFAD to challenge the diaspora to invest "back home"

Rome, 17 November - The Annual Meeting of the Financing Facility for Remittances of the International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD) will be held on 17 November at the Funds' headquarters. With 215 million people living outside of their home countries, remittances have a vital impact on developing countries. Maximizing the benefit of these remittances will be the focus of the meeting.

IFAD's new Diaspora Investment in Agriculture (DIA) initiative, empowers migrant investors to rebuild communities in post-conflict countries and fragile states. The initiative — launched earlier this year in Washington D.C. by Kanayo F. Nwanze, IFAD President, and the United States Secretary of State, Hillary Clinton — will identify sustainable agricultural investment to enhance local food security, create opportunities to help migrant workers invest in their countries and communities of origin.

While many see migrant workers as a vulnerable group with limited financial means, they are actually powerful agents of change in their home countries. In addition to the US$400 billion savings of migrant workers, they will also send home $350 billion to their families in developing countries this year.

The meeting will bring together representatives of governments, microfinance institutions, banks and money transfer companies. It will focus on topics ranging from private-sector initiatives to modernizing postal networks to include rural financial support.

Notes to Editors

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What:  Financing Facility for Remittances – Annual Meeting
When:  Thursday, 17 November, 2011 – 9 a.m. – 17:00 p.m.
Where:  FAD, Via Paolo di Dono 44, Rome, Italy

Speakers at the event:

  • Kanayo F. Nwanze , President of IFAD
  • Mohamed M. Ibrahim, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Foreign Affairs, Transitional Federal Government of Somalia   
  • Abdirashid Duale, Chairman of the Board, Dahabshiil
  • Santo L. Deng, President, Diaspora Forum for Development
  • Kevin Cleaver, Associate Vice-President  Programmes, IFAD
  • Deena S. Shakir, Global Partnerships Liaison, U.S. Department of State
  • Henri Dommel, Director, United Nations Capital Development Fund
  • Richard Cambridge, Manager, African Diaspora Program Unit, World Bank
  • Frédéric Bard, Head of Mission, French Ministry of Immigration, Integration, National identity and Co-development
  • Ibrahim Hagi Abdulkadir, Permanent Representative of the Transitional Federal Government of Somalia to FAO and IFAD

Press Release No: IFAD/82/2011

The International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD) works with poor rural people to enable them to grow and sell more food, increase their incomes and determine the direction of their own lives. Since 1978, IFAD has invested about US$13.2 billion in grants and low-interest loans to developing countries through projects empowering about 400 million people to break out of poverty, thereby helping to create vibrant rural communities. IFAD is an international financial institution and a specialized UN agency based in Rome – the United Nation's food and agricultural hub. It is a unique partnership of 167 members from the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC), other developing countries and the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD).