Home / News / Local / $647b of  $831b international remittances made by migrants, says IOM
Amy Pope, DG IOM

$647b of  $831b international remittances made by migrants, says IOM

By Busayo Onijala

Lagos, May 21, 2024

Migration is a crucial driver of economic resilience, growth and prosperity, Amy Pope, Director-General of the International Organization for Migration (IOM), said on Tuesday. 

Pope said in Lagos that migrants were often a solution to some of the world’s most pressing problems, including climate change.

She spoke  at the opening of the 2024 International Dialogue on Migration.

The dialogue, with the theme – Facilitating Regular Pathways to a Better Future: Harnessing the Power of Migration –  was organised by IOM.

The event was monitored virtually by the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN).

According to Pope, the 2030 Agenda explicitly recognises that migration can be a powerful catalyst for sustainable development because of its benefits.

She said that the benefits could be in terms of economic prosperity, exchange of skills, strengthening of labour force and cultural diversity.

“This is based on evidence; overwhelming evidence backs this up, and one example is highlighted in our recent World Migration Report.

“International remittances have increased by a staggering 650 per cent over the last 20 years. In 2000, remittances were at $128 billion.

“Today, $831 billion comes back to countries in the form of remittances. Of this, $647 billion were sent by migrants to low and middle-income countries.

“We know that, for many of these countries, these remittances constitute a significant portion of their GDP and, in fact, surpasses direct foreign investment,” Pope said.

She, however,  said that the benefits of migration should not only be seen from the perspective of what migrants could bring to countries or communities.

She said that the relationship between migration and development was complex, adding that the political, social and economic processes of potential destination countries must  determine how, where and when migration would occur.

Pope said that discussions on investment should include those of investment in people and migration.

According to her, the way to do this is by building safe and regular pathways for migration – pathways that reduce the risk of exploitation, ensure protection of  human rights and dignity of migrants, and ensure  they are able to access essential services in destination countries.

”Regular pathways can facilitate integration into communities and safely connect people, goods, services, knowledge and innovation.

“When migration is poorly governed, it can negatively impact on development, and that is why facilitating pathways is one of our top strategic objectives.

“Our goal is to ensure that migration and migrants’ needs are considered across all policy areas and across all laws and regulations – from health to urban planning, education, fiscal policy and trade,” she said.

She urged governments and other stakeholders to put in place programmes that would deliver assistance and protection and raise awareness among migrants about  options, rights and services available to them.

During the dialogue, Pope announced the appointment of America Ferrera, Oscar -nominated actress and aocial activist, as its new Global Goodwill Ambassador.

Ferrera said at the event that she had always been passionate about migration matters.

She added  that, as a daughter of Honduran immigrants to the U.S., migration meant much to her.

“As an advocate, I have spent years listening and learning about experiences and struggles of migrants, and I have had the privilege of witnessing the great value they have to contribute.

“I am very excited at the opportunity to continue amplifying stories that move us towards better and safer solutions for global migration,” she said.

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