Banking & finance

ICC joins forces with UN and governments to improve flow of remittances

  • 22 May 2020

ICC has today announced its support for a multistakeholder initiative calling on policymakers, regulators and remittance services providers to improve migrants’ access to remittance services and reduce transfer costs during the ongoing novel coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.

Led by the Governments of Switzerland and the United Kingdom, the call to action, Remittances in Crisis – How to Keep Them Flowing, is supported by the United Nations Capital Development Fund (UNCDF) and the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), as well as the World Bank, the International Organization of Migration (IOM), the International Association of Money Transfer Networks (IAMTN) and the Global Knowledge Partnership on Migration and Development (KNOMAD).

In addition to devastating health impacts, COVID-19 has severely impacted the global economy. Some low- and middle-income countries may take an even greater hit due to the projected decline in remittances this year. Data from the World Bank show that remittance inflows are expected to undergo the sharpest decline in recent history, shrinking by about 20%, a fall of around US$110 billion. Reduced remittances can have major ripple effects across economies as investment and consumption spending decrease. It can also slow down the progress countries have made in achieving the Sustainable Development Goals.

The call to action contains recommendations across policy, regulations and service provision that, in combination, will ensure migrant workers and their families are not left behind in the current crisis.

ICC Secretary General John WH Denton AO said:

“The lives and livelihoods of millions of migrants and their families across the world depend on remittances. The decline in remittance flows risks compounding the economic damage already wrought by COVID-19 in many communities. The importance of ensuring access to money transfer services and reducing transaction costs has never been more important. It’s incumbent on governments, regulators and business to take every possible action to this end without delay.”

Read the call to action: Remittances in Crisis – How to Keep Them Flowing

The call to action is in alignment with ICC’s ongoing “Save our SMEs” campaign and builds on a recent ICC call to action for governments to tailor COVID-19 related support to the needs of MSMEs during the ongoing economic crisis.

Visit for details on ICC’s global campaign to “Save Our SMEs”.