Kevin Savage, Research Officer, Humanitarian Policy Group, ODI
Anna Lindley, ESRC Postdoctoral Fellow, Centre for Migration, Policy and Society, University of Oxford
Helen Young, Research Director, Nutrition and Livelihoods, Feinstein International Center
Dr Christopher McDowell, Director and Senior Lecturer, Information Centre on Asylum and Refugees (ICAR), School of Social Sciences, City University
Remittances – money sent home by migrants – are an important part of many people’s lives around the world. In disasters, they can play a particularly important role in peoples’ survival and recovery strategies. Despite this, humanitarian actors often fail to consider remittances in assessments and response design – a neglect that reflects a broader tendency to undervalue the capacities of crisis-affected populations.
Remittances during crises, the latest report from ODI’s Humanitarian Policy Group argues that humanitarian actors could do much more to explore the complementarities between emergency relief and peoples’ own efforts to support friends and family in times of crisis. This could take the form of helping to replace lost or destroyed identity cards which are needed to collect money; working with the private sector to rapidly re-establish access to telecommunications so that people can phone home; even setting up internet cafes in displacement or refugee camps.
At this ODI event, the lead author of the report, Kevin Savage, presented the findings. This was followed by presentations from Anna Lindley and Helen Young, both of whom contributed to the report by providing country case studies on Darfur and Somalia respectively.