Following is UN Secretary-General António Guterres’ message on the International Day of Family Remittances, observed today:
The International Day of Family Remittances recognizes the contributions of hundreds of millions of migrant workers to their communities of origin.
Family remittances are not only a main source of income for households, but account for a substantial portion of the gross domestic product (GDP) in many low- and middle-income countries. Global remittances are three times greater than official development assistance (ODA) and help reduce poverty, improve health and education, and advance gender equality.
This year’s theme, “Recovery and Resilience through Digital and Financial Inclusion”, highlights an urgent priority. Nearly half the world’s population cannot access the Internet. And COVID-19 has exacerbated the digital divide.
We must accelerate our efforts to bring everyone online, while investing in digital tools and financial inclusion for all. The cost of remittances must be brought close to zero to help families manage their obligations efficiently.
The war in Ukraine is also impacting remittances and aggravating the widespread cost of living crisis. As countries redirect traditional development assistance to meet immediate needs, protecting the function and delivery of remittances is vital. This will strengthen resilience, drive economic growth and foster social inclusion.
On this Day of Family Remittances, let us renew the commitment of the Sustainable Development Goals to leave no one behind.