News & Events

03/03/15

Yesterday (2/3) IOM United Kingdom Chief of Mission Clarissa Azkoul joined former Labour Minister and Member of Parliament Dame Tessa Jowell, Colombian Ambassador Nestor Osorio and various money transfer operators at the launch of the first “World Money Transfer Day,” which will take place on Sunday, 15th March 2015.

World Money Transfer Day will bring together members of the money transfer industry with diaspora community organizations as part of an effort to lower the global cost of remittances and raise consumer awareness of the choices available in a traditionally uncompetitive and non-transparent market.

World Money Transfer Day will see money transfer fees reduced to zero and zero commission on the exchange rate charged on Sunday, 15th March 2015. In the longer term, the initiative seeks to support diaspora communities with financial education and to permanently lower the cost of money transfers.

At the launch event at the Colombian Embassy, Clarissa Azkoul said: “IOM supports and seeks to promote innovative remittance mechanisms which reduce the cost of money transfer for migrants. The hard-earned money that migrants send every day to their loved ones back home represents a vital economic lifeline and should be maximized to the extent possible.”

“IOM recognizes that progress in this area requires concerted, collaborative effort among governments, the private sector and the international community – through initiatives such as World Money Transfer Day,” she added.

Dame Tessa Jowell, who is championing the day, noted that many of London’s migrants work longer hours just to cover the transfer costs they face when sending money home. She noted both the importance of working to gain popular support for reducing the costs in the long term.

Ambassador Nestor Osorio closed the event noting that Colombia receives around USD 4 billion a year in remittances – an amount considerably larger than the income generated through the country’s largest export – coffee. He also noted the importance of improving the financial literacy of the Colombian community in the UK to ensure that they are making informed decisions about the way they send money home.

For more information please contact Jenniffer Dew at IOM UK, Tel: + 44 207 811 6035, Email: jdew@iom.int
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