International Day of Family Remittances: Statement from the UPU Director General

16.06.2019 - Money received from loved ones working abroad can transform people’s lives. For millions of migrant families, money sent home can mean the difference between opportunity and misfortune.

Studies have found that a 10 percent increase in per capita remittances can reduce the number of people living in poverty in a country by 3.5 per cent, helping people break the cycle of impoverishment and offering them greater opportunities for a better life.

In 2017, 466 billion USD was sent home to developing countries, an increase of 8.5 percent over 429 billion USD in 2016. This figure, more than three times greater than the official development support provided, shows the importance of remittances to millions of lives.

However, the lack of essential infrastructure in rural and remote areas can hinder access to essential financial services. Significant “hidden costs”, including transport costs and monopolies on the services provided, also pose a challenge.

The question for governments, international organizations and consumer groups has been how to reduce costs by finding alternative providers capable of delivering services that are cost-effective and reliable. They need not look further than their local post office.

As a historically trusted public service provider with a vast global network, the Post is a natural partner for financial inclusion, including the delivery of affordable and easily accessible global remittance services.

This is why in recent years the Universal Postal Union has collaborated with the International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD) on several projects throughout Africa, Central Asia and Asia-Pacific. As the result, 30,000 additional post offices have been connected to the UPU’s electronic financial network, making it possible for millions to send and receive digital payments through the Post.

The UPU has also worked with the International Organization for Migration (IOM) and the Burundi National Postal Service to provide the Burundian diaspora with affordable and accessible money transfer services through the postal network.

Acknowledging the role of postal operators in fostering the financial inclusion and reducing the poverty, the UPU introduced PosTransfer, a trusted trademark for postal payment services that is now registered in 110 countries. This revitalized postal service, based on real-time technology and high-quality standards, allows the customers all over the world to benefit from innovative, secure and cost-effective remittances.

On the International Day of Family Remittances, UPU pledges to continue working with its partners to ensure everyone, everywhere has access to affordable remittances.

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  1. Dirk at 19.01.2016
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