UN fund to help IGAD countries harmonize remittance policies

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Intergovernmental Authority on Development
Intergovernmental Authority on Development

The Intergovernmental Authority on Development (IGAD) and the UN Capital Development Fund (UNCDF) announced Monday that they have entered into a two-year agreement to support the harmonization of remittance policies across IGAD countries.

In close collaboration with the IGAD member states of Djibouti, Eritrea, Ethiopia, Kenya, Somalia, South Sudan, Sudan and Uganda, and with the IGAD Secretariat’s technical experts, UNCDF will map out all the relevant policies and regulations within each IGAD country.

The team will then analyze them to see contradictory or inconsistent guidelines, suggest priority areas for harmonization, and propose concrete steps for implementation, said IGAD and UNCDF in a joint press release.

“These efforts are all ultimately aimed at keeping remittances flowing in this region where they are vitally important, and shifting more of them from the informal unregulated networks into safe, regulated, and transparent channels,” it said.

Along with harmonizing the policy and regulatory frameworks that govern remittance flows, the IGAD/UNCDF initiative will seek to build a robust body of market research, with data about both the supply and demand for remittance services.

Key to the initiative will also be the understanding of how remittances, if shifted from cash to digital channels, could be the gateway for migrants and their families to other value-added financial products that could build their resilience and financial health, said the press release.

Toward that end, IGAD and UNCDF will also facilitate peer-learning exchanges between key stakeholders including that of the IGAD Secretariat, central banks and other relevant authorities together with remittance service providers and other private-sector actors so that all stakeholders may learn first-hand about each other’s constraints, priorities, goals, and incentives, it said.

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