The United Nations celebrates the International Day of Family Remittances (IDFR) on June 16 every year. The initiative aims to recognize the significance of the money sent by the migrant workers to their families back home to help them have a better living.
What are Remittances?
A remittance is a transfer of money by a foreign worker to an individual in their home country. Money sent home by migrants competes with international aid as one of the largest financial inflows to developing countries.
What the International Day of Family Remittances (IDFR) aims at?
The initiative goals to recognize the financial contribution made by the migrant workers from their hard earned money for the well being of their families back home and also be a part of the sustainable development of their motherland. It also aims to encourage the public and private sectors as well as the civil society, to do more together and collaborate to maximize the impact of these funds in the developing world.
The initiative also focuses on strengthening the current partnerships and create new synergies among sectors to promote the development impact of remittances worldwide.
How the IDFR initiated?
The IDFR was jointly announced by all the 176 member countries of the International Fund for Agricultural Development's Governing Council at its 38th session in February 2015. It was taken up by the UN General Assembly in June 2018.
The first IDFR was celebrated on 16 June 2015 by more than 400 policy-makers, private sector representatives and civil society leaders at the opening of the Fifth Global Forum on Remittances and Development in Milan.
How has it performed over years?
In 2016, more than eighty money transfer operators approved the IDFR ensuing the family remittances count.
In 2017, Private sectors came up to support this initiative. More than 100 Money Transfer Operators (MTOs) through IAMTN, 800 mobile companies through GSMA, 6,000 savings banks across 80 countries through WSBI, and several individual private sector entities, joined hands on the celebration of the International Day of Family Remittances.
Moreover, 22 UN organizations within the Global Migration Group (GMG) also came up to support the day, IOM supported the initiative individually and several other members across the globe stood up for the Day.
The money sent by the NRI's back home has a significant role to play in the sustainable development of the countries of their origin. According to the study done by the UN, "Each year more than 200 international migrants sends half a trillion US dollars back to their parents in the developing countries, which is three times more than what most of these countries receive as Official Development Assistance(ODA)."
Although on average each migrant sends some 200-300 US dollars a year, it turns out to be of a serious help for their families and assists them to fulfill the basic necessities like getting food on the table, send their children to school, etc. It supports economic development and job creation, thus helping to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals "One Family at a Time."
Here follows the video published by the UN with its report on the occasion of the International Day of Family Remittances, June 2018.