Migrants send about 500 billion dollars home each year to poor families and countries, the International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD) has said.
A Director at IFAD, Adolfo Brizzi, told an event entitled: ‘Money Talks – Why Migrants Matter’ during the Perugia International Journalism Festival, in Italy, on Monday.
Brizzi highlighted the vital development benefit of the nearly half a trillion dollars remittances, in spite of the political fire drawn by the ongoing migrant crisis in Europe and beyond.
“We hear concerns raised about migrants and refugees entering countries.
“But let’s not forget that the money they send home, particularly to countries where conflict or environmental disasters are taking a toll, actually helps stabilize families and rebuild communities.”
The IFAD official said it is estimated that there are almost 250 million migrants living outside their home countries.
According to him, the money sent back to relatives are believed to support an additional 750 million people worldwide.
“Migrants’ money represents a critical lifeline for millions of households, helping families raise their living standards above subsistence and vulnerability levels.
“The remittances also invest in health, education, housing as well as entrepreneurial activities,” Brizzi underscored.
He said while the amount of remittances may seem small, they may represent more than half of a family’s income.
He further said that adding all the transactions together could reach half a trillion dollars, which have a direct impact on one in every seven people in the world.
Brizzi, however, stressed that families back home could benefit more if they have better access to competitive money transfer markets and targeted financial services to help them manage their funds.
He said over the last decade, IFAD has piloted over 50 programmes to leverage the impact of remittances in rural areas in more than 40 developing countries.
The IFAD official said the programmes helped to aid the flow of funds and giving families more options to invest their money and create opportunities for business development and employment.
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