Celebrating the International Family Remittances Day 2018 (IFRD)

June 16, 2018 marks the celebration of the International Family Remittances Day (IFRD).

A family remittance is the money sent by migrant workers to support their families and loved ones back home. These remittances were also graciously described as “Dollars wrapped with love” by Dilip Ratha, lead author and founder of KNOMAD (Global Knowledge Partnership on Migration and Development).

It is estimated that family remittances directly touch the lives of one in every seven people on earth.

The IFRD was proclaimed by all 176 International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD) Member States during its Governing Council in February 2015, and it was first observed on June 16, 2015 by policy-makers, civil society officers, and private sector delegates at the opening of the Fifth Global Forum on Remittances and Development in Milan.

Having an International Day of Family Remittances presents an exceptional opportunity to recognise the significant financial contributions made by migrants globally to their families and communities back home. At the same time is the perfect occasion to call on governments and stakeholders from the private and public sector to promote financial inclusion and do more together to boost the development impact of remittances worldwide.

Family remittances are the core of Ria’s business, and as part of the remittance industry, we are happy to support the observance of this day, seizing the moment to highlight our commitment to our customers to continue pushing for more affordable prices while ensuring their remittances will be handled and delivered with care.

Family Remittances: Their Impact Back Home

The impact of remittances goes beyond the instant monetary gain, as they support greater human developments. More than 200 million migrant workers send money back home to provide their families with health, nutrition, education opportunities, among other investments securing them the chance to stay home addressing the root causes of their own migration.

To further understand the impact that family remittances have in developing economies we should pay attention to the following figures:

According to the United Nations, in 2017, the global stock of international migrants was an estimated 258 million.  With this, the World Bank estimates that officially recorded remittances to low- and middle-income countries reached $466 billion in 2017, an increase of 8.5 percent over $429 billion in 2016. Remittances are now more than three times the size of official development assistance.[1]

graph of remittance flows 1990-2019

These are staggering figures, family remittances clearly dwarf international aid serving as a major vehicle for reducing the extend and sternness of poverty in the developing world.

In some poor countries, like Nepal, Liberia or Haiti these billions in cash inflows can make up more than 27 percent of the Gross Domestic Product (GDP). You can find more information on the top 5 countries most dependent on remittances here.

[1] KNOMAD: Migration and Remittances: http://www.knomad.org/sites/default/files/2018-04/Migration%20and%20Development%20Brief%2029.pdf

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