Celebrating migrant heroes on World Humanitarian Day – #RealLifeHeroes
For generations, immigrants who have moved from developing countries to more established economies have sent remittances home. Now, as Covid-19 poses new threats to fragile economies, they might play a greater role than ever. On this World Humanitarian Day, the theme of which is celebrating #RealLifeHeroes, we want to shine a light on those supporting their families from afar – our customers the global diaspora – and recognise the heroes they are.
Their support provides an economic lifeline to their communities in some of the most fragile economies in the world – where a little goes a long way. In some cases, the value of remittances to the country can exceed the total national budget – the importance of what these remittances mean cannot be overstated.
In recent times, Covid-19 is causing a serious disruption to this support line – in fact the World Bank predicts that remittance flows will face their sharpest decline in history, falling by an expected 20% in 2020 to $445 billion. The pandemic aside, many of the countries that rely heavily on remittances do so because of ongoing humanitarian crises in their own countries, including famine and war.
With a looming hunger crisis in parts of the developing world, particularly in fragile states like Somalia and Zimbabwe, receiving support from overseas no matter how small could have a direct impact on communities and their ability to survive and thrive. The same is true for parts of the Philippines and China, where an inflow of remittances is a vital cog in the economy.
The frontline heroes
No #RealLifeHeroes conversation would be complete – without a mention of aid and healthcare frontline workers the world over. This year, as the UN’s
World Humanitarian Day is celebrated against the backdrop of Covid-19, thousands of aid and healthcare workers in countries around the globe are working to provide access to clean water and food, vaccinating children against measles, and offering mental health support – among other roles. Frontline workers worldwide are continuing with their vital jobs even though they are placing themselves in danger.
As the pandemic continues, it is serving to highlight how dependent we are on one another as nations and as individuals. Whether that means immigrants abroad sending money home to their families, or the humanitarian workers on the frontlines tackling poverty, supporting civilians fleeing war or fighting hunger even as the pandemic rages.
Today, and every day, we celebrate our customers and all the frontline workers – the #RealLifeHeroes.