ACP-EU migration programme holds first “Peer-to-Peer Exchange” meeting on remittances

News Hour:

IOM’s regional offices in Brussels and Nairobi, in partnership with the African Institute for Remittances (AIR), kicked off a 3-day “Peer-to-Peer Exchange” meeting in Nairobi focusing on remittances.

Running through Wednesday (19/10), the meeting brings peers and stakeholders involved in IOM’s “ACP-EU Migration Action” programme to pursue in-depth discussions on remittances – a topic which is a core part of the joint African, Caribbean and Pacific (ACP) Group of States and European Union (EU) Dialogue recommendations on migration.

“This peer-to-peer exchange comes at an opportune time, as we need to think deeply into how we shall achieve the goal of bringing down diaspora remittance transaction‎ costs to 3 percent or less by 2030,” said Washington Oloo, Director of Diaspora and Consular Affairs for Kenya’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

IOM’s ACP-EU Migration Action, launched in June 2014, provides tailored technical support on migration to ACP countries and regional organizations. To date it has received 53 technical assistance requests from 48 ACP governments and 5 regional organizations. A third of these requests directly concern remittances.

The programme is financed by the 10th European Development Fund (EDF) and supported by the ACP Secretariat and the EU.

The impact of remittances on development has been widely studied and debated. A consensus has emerged among migration researchers and professionals that remittances serve as an important and growing contribution to poverty reduction, growth, and development in migrant-sending countries.

Remittance flows to developing countries are estimated to have surpassed USD 400 billion in 2012, a figure that today is three times the volume of official development aid distributed worldwide. The World Bank forecasts global remittances will reach USD 442 billion in 2016, a surge of cash that will prove to be more stable than private capital flows.

At the household level, remittances have reduced poverty in many developing countries. Remittances have raised expenditures on investment, health services, and schooling, while enabling households to diversify sources of income and reduce vulnerability to risks such as drought, famines and natural disasters.

The Nairobi meeting offers a chance for the 70 participants – including migration experts and representatives from ACP governments, regional organizations, the European Union, UN agencies and NGOs working in the area of remittances and diaspora mobilization – to exchange knowledge and insights on the challenges, lessons learned, and good practices identified within the framework of the ACP-EU Migration Action programme.

In 2010, the ACP Group of States and the European Union agreed on a Joint Declaration on Migration and Development that was endorsed by the ACP-EU Council in June 2010. In this declaration, the parties committed to strengthen and deepen cooperation in the governance of migration and coordination of dialogue built on strategies to address irregular migration, enable regular migration, and migration and development, including issues related to diaspora and remittances.

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