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Jun 14, 2024

ILO reports on remittances

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FA News Desk
Women in Nepal receiving remittances. Oxfam file photo
Women in Nepal receiving remittances. Oxfam file photo

The International Organization for Migration (IOM) today launched two new reports on Belgium’s remittances landscape and the impact of high transaction costs on remittance flows and development outcomes for 21 countries.

According to the ILO reports, in Belgium, where one third of the population has a migrant background, over USD 7 billion (EUR 6.5 billion) in remittances were sent in 2023, but the costs of sending are high. 

The findings were presented at IOM’s first-ever National Remittance Summit in Brussels, ahead of the International Day of Family Remittances (16 June). 

The reports indicate that a 1 per cent reduction in transaction costs could lead to an increase in remittances of up to 1.078 per cent, underscoring the potential of cost reduction measures.

Lowering remittance fees to countries experiencing a humanitarian crisis, for example, would enable migrants and diaspora to send more funds to communities that need it the most.  

The studies also show that cash remittances are, on average, 51 per cent more expensive than digital remittances, while in-person money transfer operators are 83 per cent more expensive than online operators. These findings highlight the importance of digital and financial inclusion of migrants, and the need for more transparency on remittance costs, ILO said adding, in 2023, migrants and diaspora sent home nearly USD 860 billion in remittances, according to data from the World Bank.