Remittances are a lifeline
This year, the International Day of Family Remittances (IDFR) will be observed under unprecedented conditions. COVID-19 has changed the world. Millions of migrant workers are losing their jobs, and many remittance families are suddenly pushed below the poverty line – bringing to a halt, efforts to reach their own individual SDGs.
Remittance families are typically both resourceful and resilient in the face of difficult circumstances and changing conditions. But COVID-19 is disrupting an entire system that directly involves 200 million migrant workers, half of them women, around the world and their 800 million family members back home.
Migrant workers are essential contributors to both the places where they currently live and to their communities back home, having a ripple effect in about 40 sending and more than 125 receiving countries world-wide. Global remittances to developing countries are projected to fall by US$ 110 billion in 2020, and not return to pre-pandemic levels for many years thereafter.
On 19 March 2020, the UN Secretary-General called for global solidarity in responding to the coronavirus crisis stating “remittances are a lifeline in the developing world – especially now”.
Now, more than ever, the IDFR observance presents an invaluable opportunity to recognize the key role family remittances play on the wellbeing of millions of families and on the sustainable development of their local communities. That is why this year´s IDFR is calling upon governments, the private sector, and civil society organizations to support migrant workers and their families in building resilience at this time of crisis.
The International Day of Family Remittances (IDFR) is a universally-recognized observance adopted by the United Nations General Assembly (A/RES/72/281) and celebrated every year on 16 June. The day recognizes the contribution of over 200 million migrants to improve the lives of their 800 million family members back home, and to create a future of hope for their children. Half of these flows go to rural areas, where poverty and hunger are concentrated, and where remittances count the most.
Through this observance, the United Nations aims to bring greater awareness of the impact that these contributions have on millions of households, but also on communities, countries, and entire regions. The Day also calls upon governments, private sector entities, as well as the civil society, to find ways that can maximize the impact of remittances through individual, and/or collective actions.
The IDFR is fully recognized at the global level, and included as one of the key initiatives to implement the newly-adopted Global Compact for Safe, Orderly and Regular Migration (Objective 20), also calling for the reduction of remittance transfer costs, and greater financial inclusion through remittances. The Day also furthers the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development and the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).
Source: United Nations