EU, Switzerland and UNDP boost migration's contribution to growth and poverty reduction
Manila, Philippines – A global programme on migration and development goes local in the Philippines.
The Joint Migration and Development Initiative Phase 2 Project (JMDI 2) is launched today in the Philippines as part of a Php430 million three-year global project to be implemented in eight different countries to promote the contribution of migration for development at the local level.
In the Philippines, the project will focus on the role of local governments in harnessing overseas remittances and other contributions for local economic development.
With close to Php1.03 trillion in remittances in 2012 from overseas Filipinos and still growing, there is a huge potential to support the government’s goal to achieve inclusive growth. The multiplier effect that remittances can have on the economy should be further consolidated.
Compared to Phase 1 of the JMDI implemented from 2008 to 2011, Phase 2 highlights the strong need to anchor migration and development interventions with local authorities as the main institutional actors, in partnership with civil society organizations.
Local resource centers for migrants are expected to be set up and legislations on local investment and development plans will be developed under this project to strengthen project impact and sustainability.
Funded by the European Union (EU), which contributed 74 percent of the funds, and the Swiss Federal of Department of Foreign Affairs, the project will be implemented in the Philippines by UNDP in partnership with IOM, ILO, UNFPA, UN Women, and UNHCR. The main government partner is the Commission on Filipinos Overseas (CFO).
EU Ambassador to the Philippines, Guy Ledoux underlined that “the EU supports harnessing the potential of migration for poverty alleviation through good use of the remittances and a productive reintegration into the job market after returning from abroad.”
Ms. Rebeca Grynspan, UN Under-Secretary-General and UNDP Associate Administrator, is the special guest in the launching. She said that “the good practices identified by the first phase of JMDI showed the importance of efficiently linking civil society initiatives with local development processes in order to reach sustainability and development impact. Successful local authorities’ interventions were the results of strong partnerships with a range of stakeholders from civil society, including the social partners and the private sector.”
Ambassador of Switzerland to the Philippines, Ivo Sieber, remarked that “The Philippines is one of the most suitable countries to upscale migration and development initiative given its decentralized local governance, and where Filipino migrants report back to their hometowns when they retire from their work overseas.”
As the main government implementing partner, Secretary Imelda Nicolas of the CFO said that “JMDI Phase 2 is top priority of the CFO’s plan of action for the next three years as it is aligned with our mission of promoting policies, programs, and projects with migration and development as a framework for the strengthening and empowerment of the community of Filipinos overseas.”
The Philippines remains to be a major source country of migrants with more than 10 million of its citizens working and living in over 200 countries. The US$24 billion worth of remittances of Filipino migrants in 2012 has made the Philippines the third largest recipient of foreign remittances behind India and China, and in the same ranking as Mexico. An estimated 20 percent of all Filipino households receive remittances.
As a global project, JMDI Phase 2 will also be implemented in Ecuador, El Salvador, Costa Rica, Morocco, Tunisia, Senegal and Nepal.