There are plenty of ‘International Days’ that encourage people across the world to recognise global movements, milestones and positive progression. However, one that is especially pertinent to us here at Small World is International Migrants’ Day.
What is International Migrants’ Day?
Held annually on 18 December by the UN, it is, quite simply, a celebration of migrants. It’s an opportunity to educate the public, to address global problems, and to celebrate and reinforce the positive contributions that migrants make around the world.
This year, the focus of the day is to share stories of social cohesion: a celebration of the unique stories of migrants that move away from their homes and make new lives. These new lives are in communities that are often very different from what they are used to. Furthermore, it is an opportunity to recognise the humanity of migrants and their right to equal protection of their human rights.
In other words, the people across the world that Small World serves and supports every single day.
Migration is not new, but the world is changing rapidly. In the past couple of years there has been more access to data as well as a number of global situations that have led to the displacement of an increased number of people. This has brought migration to the forefront in a different way. According to the World Migration Report 2020, the number of international migrants is approximately 272m, around 3.5% of the world’s population. While this is still a tiny proportion, it is a larger number than that 230m (or 2.6%) that was originally projected for 2050.
The impacts of remittance – why send money home?
Currently, one in seven individuals are involved with remittances in some way and around 800m benefit. But the COVID-19 pandemic has dramatically impacted remittance flows. The latest forecast from the World Bank predicts a decrease of $110bn. This would have a very real impact on people who rely on remittances.
Remittances have a positive impact on the world economy as well as an individual country’s, but it’s not only the economy these remittances impact upon; it’s the lives of the people that receive them that are affected most.
Over 50% of remittances are sent to households in rural areas, and 75% of the world's poor and food-insecure live in these areas.
Whether it’s bank deposit, cash pick-up or money send via mobile wallet, our customers, who are predominantly migrant workers, send money home for a myriad of reasons. Each one is helping to improve their families’ livelihood, increasing their financial resilience and therefore contributing to an improvement in their overall prospects.
Earlier this year, Small World spoke to a number of our customers to find out what global money transfer meant to them. It’s important to us that we understand why our customers send money home and what motivates them, even during global pandemics, to do so.
Remittance and Small World customersFor Florefina, who comes from The Philippines, sending money home to her family and close friends helps them to prove their quality of living by paying for basic necessities.
Geraldine, also from The Philippines, has been able to send money to pay for urgent hospital fees when her mother was diagnosed with breast cancer. Her ongoing financial support, that has paid for treatment and medication has been a huge relief for her and her family.
Other customers told us about helping out with the costs of education, or investments in businesses and property that have a very real impact on their families’ futures.
All of them spoke proudly about being able to provide this support and so, on International Migrants’ Day, we would like to celebrate our customers.