The Reserve Bank of New Zealand is supporting a worldwide multi-stakeholder appeal to keep and improve migrants’ access to remittance or money transfer services during the current economic crisis brought about by the COVID-19 pandemic.
Led by the Governments of Switzerland and United Kingdom, the call to action highlights the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic to economies, communities, and families dependent on remittances. The World Bank predicts that remittances to low and middle-income countries will drop by about 20%.
To address this, the call to action has recommendations on policy, regulations, and service provision to ensure affordable access to money transfer services of migrants and their families. New Zealand, led by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade (MFAT), is one of the latest countries to join and pledge its support for the initiative.
Reserve Bank Governor Adrian Orr said, “Across the world, many migrants and their families who rely on remittances for basic needs are experiencing financial hardship because of COVID-19. We are committed to supporting this initiative to ensure that no one gets left behind in the economic recovery plan.”
“This is very much aligned with the current work that the Reserve Bank, with support from the MFAT, is engaged in. The Bank’s Pacific Remittances Project aims to address the challenges facing remittance services domestically and in the Pacific region.
“As early as last year, we have been working closely with the Government, the South Pacific Central Bank Governors’ forum, fellow regulators, and industry players to increase access to and reduce costs of remittances to and from the Pacific. Our work on this remains to be a priority, now more than ever,” Mr Orr said.