A $100 billion idea: Harnessing migration for financing development goals


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As global leaders meet in Addis Ababa this week to decide how development goals would be financed in the next 15 years, I hope they'll take note of the enormous potential of harnessing diasporas, migration and remittances. Please read this note outlining a few under-exploited market-based financing options that are directly connected to international migration. As much as $100 billion, or more, could be raised annually by developing countries via:
  • Mobilizing diaspora savings $50 bn 
  • Reducing remittance costs $20 bn 
  • Reducing migrant recruitment costs $20 bn 
  • Mobilizing philanthropic contributions from the diaspora $10 bn 
Remittances can be further leveraged for development financing via:
  • Future-flow securitization of remittances
  • Enhancing sovereign credit ratings
  • Linking remittances to financial savings and insurance
The Global Migration Group, the OECD and the World Bank are organizing a side event on July 14 to highlight these important topics. More information on the side event can be found here. If you are at Addis, please join us. There will be coffee and cookies, but more importantly there will be a $100 billion plus financing idea. 


Dilip Ratha

Manager, Migration and Remittances Unit and Head, KNOMAD, Global Indicators Group, World Bank

Join the Conversation

Filomenita Mongaya Hoegsholm
July 13, 2015

I was one of the attendees of your short seminar on mobilizing remittances last April at the WOrld Bank, Wash DC. I am glad that you have just reiterated those points today in preparation and also anticipation for the Addis Ababa Meeting this week on Financing for Development. It has always puzzled as well as irked me that acteurs -NGOs, mediaGOs, even governmentsfrom the Global North somehow do not find it legitimate that remittances be harnessed for development. That somehow,it is an aberration, when migration for millions from the Global South is in order to improve the life standards of migrants and their families. Results of which point to 5 times volume of remittances when compared to funds generated by Foreign Aid alone. HELLO, it is time to shake off the oh so convenient "migration is a shame" view to something that recognizes the actuations of migrants themselves, instead of the popular -esp. among Northern NGOs and other acteurs- that every migrant is being forced to do so. What is wrong with people seeking opportunities elsewhere, thereby crossing borders in order to earn decent wages that will provide upkeep of the family's needs, much of it going to education,building sturdy homes, medicine for ailing family members, health care, better nutrition, etc.? These are development parameters or variables too that count for individuals as well as states when acoounting for development. Please continue your quest to open minds in the Global Arena, for example that in the Ethiopian capital this week.