MONEY SENT HOME BY MIGRANT WORKERS COULD BOOST RURAL ECONOMIES, UN SAYS

MONEY SENT HOME BY MIGRANT WORKERS COULD BOOST RURAL ECONOMIES, UN SAYS

New York, Jun 28 2013  2:00PM

Remittances — the money sent by migrants to theirhome countries — could generate $30 billion annually for investment inrural areas if initiatives were scaled up, according to the United Nationsagency that works to improve the lives of the world’s rural poor.Remittances “can empower rural people to blaze a trail out of poverty andexclusion,” said Kanayo F. Nwanze, President of the UN International Fundfor Agricultural Development (IFAD) today at an event at its headquarters inRome.“The value of remittances is staggering, but the rural poor need greaterimpact.” Mr. Nwanze said, underscoring: “We need more strategic ways toinvest the $200 billion sent home to the rural areas every year,”More than 215 million people across the globe live outside of the countriesthey call home. Most remittance families operate outside of the world’sfinancial system, dependent on costly cash transfers that often requiresignificant travel for rural recipients.Despite the global prevalence of electronic money transfers, most migrantworkers are excluded from convenient, modern banking and are forced toinitiate more than one billion separate remittance transactions worldwideeach year.Reducing transaction costs is a key priority as well as affirming thesignificant role that diaspora play in rural development, particularlyagriculture, the IFAD chief added.Organized jointly by IFAD and the World Bank, the event has more than 350participants including representatives from the Group of Eight (G8) largestworld economies, as well as central bankers and microfinance institutions,money transfer operators and postal networks.Today’s event is the first since the Fourth Global Forum on Remittances 2013in Bangkok, Thailand, last month.________________For more details go to UN News Centre at http://www.un.org/news