IOM holds policy dialogue on Nepali remittances

Kathmandu, January 29

Providing crucial data about migrants’ current situations, needs, and desires have been emphasised to help create policies and programmes to promote social and economic development through remittances and resources gained abroad.

At the same time such data ‘will empower migrants to gain the most out of their migration experiences’, Miah Park, head of Office at IOM Seoul, has been quoted in the statement issued by International Organisation for Migration (IOM) today.

She was speaking during a policy dialogue and capacity building workshop on how to better use remittances for sustainable development in Nepal. The programme held in Seoul from January 26 to 28 had brought together Nepali and South Korean government officials, academics and civil society.

Part of the research project ‘The Role of Remittances as Effective Development Finance for Sustainable Development in Nepal’ (Remittances Project), funded by KOICA and the IOM Development Fund, the three-day event was co-organised by IOM and Ewha Womans University (EWU).

The two organisations have been leading the project in Nepal and South Korea since its inception in January 2015, in collaboration with IOM Nepal and the Institute for Integrated Development Studies (IIDS), a local research partner in Nepal.

The main goals of the event were to provide a platform to examine the challenges migrants and receiving countries face in utilising remittances for development, and to assist the two governments to make better policies to turn the hard-earned money into lasting wealth for receiving households and migrants themselves.

“Although remittances make up over a quarter of gross domestic product (GDP) and exceed all other external sources of foreign capital in Nepal, only 10 per cent of these remittances have been used for savings, household property, and education, according to the Central Bureau of Statistics,” the statement further quoted Park as saying.

She also pointed out that the Nepal government recently emphasised the improved remittance use in its national development plan.

Since last year, the Remittances Project — which collects data from all points in the migration cycle — has been conducting a country-wide survey in Nepal for approximately 20,000 households, including those with potential and returnee migrants, as well as surveys for 250 Nepali migrants currently in South Korea under the Employment Permit System (EPS).

First established in 2004, EPS is a bilateral agreement between the South Korean government and 15 Asian countries for cross-border labour migration.

IOM Nepal Chief of Mission Maurizio Busatti, together with representatives from the Nepal government, including officials from the National Planning Commission, Ministry of Labour and Employment, and Central Bureau of Statistics, also participated in the event.