June 16 celebrated as “International Day of Family Remittances”

SOUTH FLORIDA – Member countries of the International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD) designated Friday, June 16, as “International Day of Family Remittances,” to mark the important role that remittances play in the lives of more than 700 million persons, worldwide.

This was the first year that this day was being celebrated, as the IFAD seeks to recognise the impact of the service’s poverty alleviation; contribution to rural development; as well as, being the human face of globalisation.

IFAD, a specialised Agency of the United Nations, was established as an international financial institution in 1977; and is one of the major outcomes of the 1974 World Food Conference.

Horace Hines JN Money Services June 16 celebrated as "International Day of Family Remittances"

Horace Hines, Acting General Manager, JN Money Services

“Remittances play an important role in the global economy by supporting some 750 million people worldwide,” stated Horace Hines, acting general manager of JN Money Services Limited.  “And, IFAD notes that in many cases migrant workers improve the lives of their family members in their homeland by as much as 50 percent, as the funds they remit enables families to pay utility bills, purchase food, secure medication, send children to school and pay rent.”

The decision to celebrate the day was agreed by all 176 states of the IFAD in 2015; and in December, 2016, the IFAD General Assembly took note of the Proclamation; and declared June 16 as the “International Day of Family Remittances.”

“Recognising the important role that remittances play in keeping families together, as a social safety net, and fostering development, IFAD proclaimed June 16 to be International Day of Family Remittances, given its impact on developing countries such as Jamaica,” Mr Hines added.

Remittances A Major Component To Jamaica’s GDP

Remittances represent some 16.6 percent of Jamaica’s GDP, according to figures from the Bank of Jamaica. And for the 2016 calendar year, Jamaican residents received more than US$2.229 billion in overseas remittances. Most receivers of remittances use the funds to pay utility bills, purchase food, medication, pay school fees and rent. Others  used the money, to save, invest, and operate small businesses.

“Locally, remittances also benefit the elderly, as it provides funds for transportation, medication and survival. And, that is why we, at JN Money Services, are marking the day with several activities,” Mr Hines outlined.

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