Webinar on remittances in celebration of International Migrants Day

The panel. First row: Flor Didden, Donna Harris, Oscar Asamoah. Second row: Stella Opoku-Owusu, Michael Newson, Lieven De La Marche

On 16 December, the country office organized a webinar on the opportunities and obstacles of remittances in celebration of International Migrants Day. 

We mark International Migrants Day to draw attention to the contributions made by migrants in both their countries of residence and in their countries of origin. This year, IOM Belgium & Luxembourg has chosen to highlight the topic of migrant remittances and the vital role that they play in poverty reduction and development in communities of origin.

Two of the key challenges are the cost of sending remittances, which can be exceedingly high in certain corridors, as well as financial inclusion of migrants and remittance recipients, which could allow them to better leverage their remittances towards longer-term sustainable development and livelihood opportunities. 

We had the pleasure of welcoming Michael Newson, Senior Labour Mobility & Human Development Specialist at IOM, as our moderator. The panel consisted of five speakers with a variety of backgrounds: 


  • Donna Donhatai Harris, Director of Studies in Political Economy at the University of Oxford and Consultant at Oxford Policy Management 
  • Stella Opoku Owusu, Deputy Executive Director of AFFORD (African Foundation for Development) 
  • Oscar Asamoah, founder of YABS Network and part of the Ghanaian diaspora in Belgium
  • Flor Didden - Policy Officer for Migration at 11.11.11
  • Lieven De la Marche - Ambassador Special Envoy Migration and Asylum at the Belgian Ministry of Foreign Affairs

The panel took a deep dive into the enablers and inhibitors for the use of remittances, looking at financial inclusion, policy frameworks, and the rise of digital services.

We can conclude that the key in going forward is to assess what policies and programmes we can put in place to encourage the use of remittances towards more sustainable development.

Watch the webinar’s key highlights here:


SDG 10 - Reduced Inequalities