The unprecedented disruption of remittance flows as a consequence of the current global crisis is severely affecting migrants, diaspora communities, and the families, communities and economies that rely on receiving remittances in low- and middle-income countries. It is projected that remittance flows to these countries will sharply decline by 20% – around US$110bn – in 2020. Remittances provide a vital lifeline for hundreds of millions of people round the world, and such a significant drop will inevitably impact on their ability to cover basic necessities, such as food, housing, healthcare and education. Ensuring that remittances can continue to be sent and received without obstacles will mitigate this impact, and will prevent millions of people from falling into poverty. Facilitating the continued flow of remittances is also vital for the resilience and recovery of local economies and communities in many low- and middle-income countries heavily affected by the health and economic crisis caused by the spread of COVID-19.
The webinar, organized by Switzerland and the United Kingdom in partnership with World Bank/KNOMAD, UNCDF, IOM, UNDP, the International Association of Money Transfer Networks, and the International Chamber of Commerce, served as a platform to discuss how countries that have joined the Call to Action are affected by the disruption of remittances and how the implementation of the Call to Action’s recommendations can keep remittances flowing during the crisis and beyond.