International Day of Family Remittances on June 16
Photo: Migration News

International Day of Family Remittances, a universally-recognized observance, adopted by the United Nations General Assembly, is set to be observed on 16 June in Bangladesh and also other countries across the world.

The day recognizes the contribution of over 200 million migrant workers to improve the lives of their 800 million family members back home, and to create a future of hope for their children.

Through this observance, the United Nations aim at bringing greater awareness on the impact that these contributions have on millions of households, but also on communities, countries, and entire regions.

The Day also calls upon governments, private sector entities, and the civil society to find ways that can maximize the impact of remittances through individual, and/or collective actions.

The International Day of Family Remittances is fully recognized at global level, and included as one of the key initiatives to implement the newly-adopted Global Compact for Safe, Orderly and Regular Migration (Objective 20).

The Day is also functional to the pursuit of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development and the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).

Towards these objectives, IFAD, as custodian of the IDFR, is supporting the Family Remittances Campaign 2030, to allow stakeholders to endorse the values the Day represents and to showcase their engagement, according to a press release.

Bangladesh is a country of origin annually sending over 5,00,000 migrant workers abroad and receiving remittance of $15 billion.

For fiscal 2019-20 budget, Bangladesh government for the first time announced to provide 2 per cent incentives on the remittance inflow to encourage migrants sending money back though the formal banking channels.    

When asked, global migration expert Syed Saiful Haque said that Bangladesh government set an example in the world by allocating budget for providing incentives on remittance receipts.

The government incentives would discourage hundis, he said, adding that migrant workers would also become glad counting additional money.

Saiful, also chairman of and WARBE Development Foundation chairman, called for taking necessary steps for the migrants and their family members so that they could properly use theire remittances, especially by investing on Small and Medium Enterprises (SME) in Bangladesh.

He also said that the government should take prompt steps for reduction of remittance transfer costs to 3 per cent less than the existing 5-7 per cent, for greater financial inclusion through remittances.

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