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.