One important aspect of diaspora engagement and the most tangible link between migration and development, is remittances – private money transfers to the countries of origin which accounted for 404 billion USD in 2013. Even though the sum as such is impressive, remittances are not free from criticism: the use is often consumptive only; remittances can lead to dependency of family members and transfer costs are often too high and not transparent. However, there are ways to foster the positive effects of remittances for development and to reduce its costs.
During Global Diaspora Week 2014, the German Society for International Cooperation (GIZ) and the Center for International Migration and Development (CIM) hosted a webinar on the development effects of remittances. The webinar discussed a few project examples to address these challenges and the potential for development arising from remittances. It also presented tools that can reduce remittance costs and foster the potentially positive effects, such as transparency and competition on the market through price comparison website and financial literacy training for migrants and their families. In case you missed it, you can listen to the full webinar here.
The Program included:
• Welcome and short introduction by moderator Peter Bonin, GIZ/CIM
• Thematic input on “development effects of remittances”, the international discussion on the topic and possible approaches in this context – Dilip Ratha, World Bank
• Presentation of German price comparison website www.geldtransfair.de; rational of a host country (Germany), introducing such a website; expected results
• Presentation of Filipino NGO ATIKHA and its worldwide PINOYWISE Program that offers financial literacy courses 1) to address family issues arising due to monetary problems and 2) to offer options of reintegration (investment planning etc.) based on financial literacy – Mai Anonuevo, ATIKHA
• Questions and online discussion
For more information visit www.giz.de.