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IDFR 2022: 5 facts about the money migrants send home

Today is International Day of Family Remittances (IDFR), a celebration of the contributions migrants make to their families and communities when they send money home. IDFR is observed on the 16th of June and is now in its seventh year.

To mark this day and celebrate the incredible work that migrants do, we thought it was high time to share some interesting facts about migrants and money transfers.

Here are 5 things you might not know about the money migrants send back home.

Money transfers are on the rise

Even as recently as two decades ago, the need for money transfers was negligible compared to the situation today. Millions of migrants are now fulfilling the necessities of their families by living and working abroad. Most of the time, it’s not a choice, it’s a responsibility. And the numbers are rising.

International Day of Famly Remittances was set up by the United Nations to create awareness of this global issue. It also intends to seek support from governments, the private sector, development organisations and the civil society to help make immigration a choice by promoting digital and financial solutions.

Millions of migrants send money

Approximately 200 million migrant workers send money back home. Roughly, this money reaches 1 billion family members. That’s a lot of people and a lot of transfers that go into providing invaluable aid to those who need it. 

Half of this money goes straight to rural areas, where roughly three-quarters of the world’s poorest people live. In 2021 alone, migrants sent approximately 580 billion Euros to low and middle-income countries. In 2022, the numbers will likely be higher.

Money sent home helps millions out of poverty

Money sent by migrants accounts for approximately 15% of their income. That might not sound like much, but overseas it makes up for a major part of a household’s overall income. For many families, it’s a means of survival.

Roughly, money received from migrant workers makes up 60% of a family’s total household income. This makes all the difference when it comes to living hand to mouth and having disposable income. Approximately 75% of the money received goes towards essentials like food, medical expenses and housing bills. The rest is saved or invested. On average, individual transfers are around 100-200 Euros.

More migrants are sending money digitally

Mobile remittances are on the up. And that’s no surprise given the increase in technology use. This is a result of many factors—most notably, the Covid pandemic that enforced social distancing restrictions. For many, digital was the only way to do things. And transfers were no exception. 

Digital transfers are also more affordable. Low fees or no fees are a common draw of service providers like TransferGo (that’s us). These days, instant transfers are also available. Depending on the country, your money can reach its destination in as little as a couple of minutes.

Remittances help achieve at least seven of the 17 SDGs

The 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development provide a list of sustainable development goals (SDGs). These goals recognise ending poverty and other deprivations and urge both developed and developing countries to take action. Each goal works towards different strategies relating to health, education, equality, economic growth and climate preservation.

When migrants send money to families and communities back home, it can help to achieve seven of the goals outlined in the agenda. These include No Poverty (SDG 1), Zero Hunger (SDG 2), Good Health and Wellbeing (SDG 3), Quality Education (SDG 4), Clean Water and Sanitisation (SDG 6), Decent Work and Economic Growth (SDG 8) and Reduced Inequality (SDG 10).

On this IDFR 2022, we’d like to take this opportunity to thank migrants for the work they do. Sending money home is a lifeline for many families and communities and these efforts are invaluable.

We strive to continue doing as much as we can to make the process of sending money home easier, faster and more affordable.

Happy International Day of Family Remittances!


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