Side event on Enhancing the contribution of migrants in the post Covid-19 era

New York (Virtual meeting)

May 17 2022 - 1:15pm


Despite the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic, international remittance volumes to lowand middle- income countries held firm throughout 2020, recording only a modest 1.6 per cent decline to US$549 billion, in the face of one of the deepest recorded global recessions, and increased again in 2021 to US$589 billion, registering a 7.3 per cent increase.

This was possible thanks to the resilience of hundreds of millions of migrants who continued to send money to their families and communities back home, regardless of the economic challenges they were facing in their host countries. Remittances are critically important for developing countries, in particular for rural and more vulnerable communities, particularly in times of crisis. Almost half of all remittance flows go to rural areas, accounting for over US$200 billion annually.

The pandemic, while creating major challenges, has also created new opportunities for the global remittance market. Migrants increased their use of regulated and digital channels in many corridors. Increased use of digital channels in many cases brought down the costs of transferring remittances. Private sector operators adapted their business models and policy makers provided the necessary enabling environment.

The webinar will also briefly discuss the impact on remittances of policies and measures to combat money laundering and the financing of terrorism. Lastly, the webinar will consider the potential for concessional financing facilities for migrants.



Organization of work

Tuesday, 17 May 2022

1:15 p.m.

High-level remarks

  • H.E. Mario Adolfo Búcaro Flores, Minister of Foreign Affairs, Republic of Guatemala

Opening remarks

  • Jyotsna Puri, Associate Vice-President, Strategy and Knowledge Department,

International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD) (5 minutes)

1:25 p.m.


  • Pedro De Vasconcelos, Manager, Financing Facility for Remittances (FFR), IFAD

Presentations by the panellists (5 minutes each):

  • Gibril Faal, visiting professor in practice, Firoz Lalji Institute for Africa (FLIA), London School of Economics (LSE), co-founder of GK Partners and RemitAid
  • Emmanuel Ssemambo, Head, External Sector Statistics Division, Statistics Department, Bank of Uganda (tbc)
  • Leon Isaacs, Chief Executive Officer, Developing Markets Associates Global (DMAG)
  • Sonia Plaza, Senior Economist, Finance, Competitiveness and Innovation Global Practice, World Bank
  • Stefanie Scharf, Head of Division, Policy Issues of Displacement and Migration, Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ)


2:00 p.m.

Interventions from the floor

(Member States and stakeholders) 


2:20 p.m.

Responses by the panellists 


2:25 p.m.

Closing remarks

  • Maria Francesca Spatolisano, Assistant Secretary-General for Policy Coordination and Inter-Agency Affairs, United Nations Department of Economic and Social Affairs (UN DESA) (5 minutes)