CEMLA and MIF/IDB launch online tool for senders of remittances to Haiti
www.transfeayiti.org offers transparency, cost comparisons, and better informed decisions
Miami, December3, 2013:The Center for Latin American Monetary Studies (CEMLA) and the Multilateral Investment Fund (MIF), a member of the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB) Group launched www.transfeayiti.org today. This free online tool allows users to compare the costs of sending remittances from the United States or the Dominican Republic to Haiti.
In 2012, millions of Haitians living abroad sent a total of USD 1.9 billion in remittances to Haiti. In the United States alone there is estimated to be almost one million people of Haitian origin. "Last year, money transfers from the United States to Haiti exceeded 1.2 billion dollars, more than 60 percent of the total amount of remittances sent in 2012, "said Paloma Monroy, a remittance specialist with cemla, the agency implementing this initiative.
Remittances are an important source of revenue in the local Haitian economy and represent more than 20 percent of the country's GDP, exceeding the earnings from the export of goods and services. ''Considering the impact of remittance flows on Haiti's economy, it is extremely important to try to lower the cost of sending remittances there,'' said mif remittances specialistMaria Luisa Hayem. "Reducing these fees allows a larger percentage of the money sent to go to those who need it most: remittance recipients in Haiti, " added Hayem.
TransfeAyiti allows Haitian migrants living in the United States to compare the different options available on the market to send money from Florida, New Jersey, New York and Massachusetts to their families in Haiti. Currently, 85 percent of migrants of Haitian origin in the United States live in those states. Monthly data is also collected for a key intra regional corridor: from Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic to Port-au-Prince, Haiti. TransfeAyiti is available in French, Kreyol, English, and Spanish.
In November 2013, Haitian migrants in the usa paid an average fee of USD 16 for every USD 200 remitted. The highest cost to transfer USD 200 was from the Dominican Republic to Haiti, with an average cost of USD 22.
''A one percentage point reduction in the cost of sending remittances will save Haitian migrants and their families an additional USD 18 million a year'' said Jesús Cervantes from CEMLA.
Transfeayiti is being disseminated with the support of the Haitian Hometown Associations Resource Group (HHTARG) to help the Haitian community better understand the cost options available before sending money.
Multilateral Investment Fund
Inter-American Development Bank
The Centre for Latin American Monetary Studies (CEMLA) is the association of Central Banks in Latin America and the Caribbean formed by 53 institutions, 30 of which are regional central banks. cemla's mission is to promote greater awareness of monetary and financial matters throughout the Latin America and the Caribbean region by means of training, dissemination and research. More information at www.cemla.org.
About the MIF
The Multilateral Investment Fund (MIF), a member of the Inter-American Development Bank Group, is funded by 39 donors and supports private sector-led development benefitting low-income populations and the poor - their businesses, their farms, and their households. The aim is to give them the tools to boost their incomes: access to markets and the skills to compete in those markets, access to finance, and access to basic services, including green technology. A core mif mission is to act as a development laboratory - experimenting, pioneering, and taking risks in order to build and support successful micro and sme business models. More information at www.fomin.org.
Founded in 2008, the Haitian Hometown Associations Resource Group (HHTARG) is a 501(c)(3) not-for-profit corporation whose main purpose is to link the diaspora with Haiti to achieve development. The rg supports organizations working in and for Haiti while strengthening relationships between the international donor community, financial players, and government actors for the purpose of development initiatives in Haiti. The rg is also a place for investors, social enterprises, and business leaders to learn about investment opportunities in Haiti, acting as a critical link between Haitians living abroad and the institutions that serve them and facilitating the exchange of knowledge and capital to accelerate social and economic development in Haiti.