Globally, 3.4% of population are international migrants who contribute approximately 9.4% of global GDP.

Diasporas significantly contribute socially and economically to development. Depending on the region, between 60 and 95 per cent of migrants send money back home to developing countries, constituting a flow upwards of USD 529 billion annually, according to the last World Bank estimation. The links between migration and development are also acknowledged by the international community and reflected in recent global framework documents and agendas.

June 16th marks the annual International Day of Family Remittances (IDFR), which recognises the financial contributions made by 250 million migrant workers to sustainable international development. IOM calls on governments, the financial sector, and money transfer operators to commit to a cross-sector approach to facilitate cheaper, transparent and more accessible remittances worldwide which leverage their full potential for development.

To mark the 2019 International Family Remittance Day, IOM UK co-hosted a seminar with the Institute for Global Affairs at the London School of Economics entitled “Beyond remittances: optimizing diaspora’s role in development.” The seminar examined how to fully leverage the various contributions that diasporas can make and align them with the challenges of development. The panel was chaired by the Overseas Development Institute (ODI) and included speakers from IOM, LSE, the Commonwealth Secretariat, and WorldRemit who discussed host countries’ roles in supporting the efficient maximisation of diaspora contributions through policies, strategies and initiatives.    Alignment between home and host countries’ priorities and support will offer a baseline for mutual cooperation in supporting diaspora’s transnational civic engagement.

In 2016, IOM UK convened influential speakers who discussed the potential of multi-stakeholder approaches – across sectors such as migration, banking, money transfer and development – in facilitating reliable and low-cost remittances, ensuring policy coherence and maximizing the development outcomes of remittances. 

Remittances are a mainstay for millions of the world's poor – let's improve them