Yesterday, June 16 was a very important day, yes, it was father’s day, but it was also the International Day of Family Remittances.
As UN says, this international day highlights the contributions that more than 200 million migrant workers make every day to improve the lives of their families and communities back home. Yes, there are fathers among them and many mothers too.
Sri Lanka’s external migrant work force is well above one million. The majority of them work in the Persian Gulf and the other Middle Eastern countries. They send over $ 1.5 billion annually which is the island nation’s major foreign exchange income.
Issuing a statement, UN Secretary General stated, “Family remittances have a direct impact on the lives of 1 billion people — one out of seven individuals on earth. Added together, remittances are three times greater than Official Development Assistance and surpass Foreign Direct Investment.
“That makes remittances a driver of economic growth and a powerful force in helping families reduce poverty and strengthen resilience in the face of uncertainty. As such, they are also important tools in advancing the Sustainable Development Goals.
“These critical contributions are recognized by the Global Compact for Safe, Orderly, and Regular Migration, which recommends specific actions to maximize the impact of remittances.
“Indeed, migrants are essential both to the economic well-being of developed countries and their countries of origin.
“And it is in small towns, rural villages and urban neighbourhoods that remittances make the greatest impact, including by helping to make migration a choice, not a necessity, for future generations.
On this International Day, we recognize the importance of family remittances to inclusivity, global prosperity and a more equal world.”