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Remittances in Times of Crisis: Facing the Challenges of COVID-19

On 19 March 2020, the Secretary-General of the United Nations called for an urgent and coordinated response from the international community to address the COVID-19 pandemic. Five days later, the Remittance Community Task Force (RCTF) was launched by Global Forum on Remittances, Investment and Development (GFRID) 2020 co-organizers, the International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD), the African Union (AU) and the World Bank Group. To date 38 organizations have joined the RCTF, including international organizations, inter-governmental bodies, industry and private sector groups, diaspora networks and international experts on remittances. The RCTF includes a reference group of government representatives and national development agencies.

This report presents the reality of both remittance senders in host countries and their families Lower-Middle-Income-Countries (LMICs), and examines the impact of the crisis from the perspective of service providers. This report also addresses the policy and regulatory challenges that must be tackled to improve the resilience of remittance markets in the face of external shocks, along with the actions to be taken by the remittance service providers (RSPs) and other relevant stakeholders. The final section includes a preliminary set of immediate and short-term measures to be considered by public authorities, the private sector and civil society as part of their collective efforts to facilitate fast, cheap and safe remittance flows during the post-COVID-19 crisis and its aftermath. The measures in this interim report are organized following the Committee on Payments and Market Infrastructures (CPMI)-World Bank General Principles for International Remittances.