The head of PACE’s Sub-Committee on Diasporas has urged European governments to make it easier for diasporas to send money home to their countries of origin during the COVID-19 crisis.
Killion Munyama (Poland, EPP/CD), who is also Co-ordinator of PACE’s Parliamentary Network on Diaspora Policies, pointed out that – in countries where health services are less developed – any help from diasporas sent to families back home has become, in some cases, essential for survival.
“In some states, emergency restrictions include the temporary closure of banks and even cash distributors, so the only way to send remittances is via reliable online money transfer services,” said Mr Munyama.
“By lowering transfer fees, tightening security, and collecting all such funds in the local currency for onward transfer, transfers could be safer and better-controlled,” he added.
“Governments could also increase the attractiveness of formal remittances by offering better exchange rates, and helping to dissuade diasporas from using informal - and frequently illegal - transfer systems. Increased remittances would contribute to Gross Domestic Product (GDP) and cut out some government borrowing costs on international debt.”
Mr Munyama also urged members of diasporas and working migrants to show solidarity with their countries of origin, despite the hard times they may be experiencing.