Hybrid debate - Harnessing remittances to build climate resilience



African countries are highly vulnerable to the increasing average global temperature, leading to increased occurrences of extreme disasters like droughts, floods and tropical cyclones. These events hinder their development trajectory, with climate change impacts most strongly felt at the community level. As climate change continues to pose significant threats to vulnerable communities worldwide, the financial and social support provided by migrants and their descendants becomes an invaluable resource for adaptation and mitigation efforts.

In Ethiopia, financial instruments such as diaspora bonds have shown the potential and significant role of tapping the resources of migrants and diaspora members in building (climate) resilience in countries of origin. In 2011, Ethiopia successfully issued a diaspora bond – the ‘Renaissance Dam Bond’ – to fund the construction of the Grand Renaissance Dam that most Ethiopians viewed as a critical asset for Ethiopian’s sovereignty, economic security and, most importantly, clean energy. Given the potential of diaspora, several measures need to be taken to actively engage diaspora as climate actors in their countries of origin and to improve conditions that will provide greater incentives for highly skilled workers labourers to remain at home or move back home. In conclusion, this session will explore the following:

  • Channelling the potential of student mobility and diaspora engagement toward effective climate change solutions, both in the host and country of origin;
  • The implications of brain drain and brain gain;
  • The growing importance of remittances as a lifeline for communities affected by climate-induced disasters;
  • The multifaceted relationship between remittances and climate resilience.

Logistics event:

  • When? Monday 25 September, 2023, 16h30 - 18h00
  • Where? VUB Etterbeek Campus, Pleinlaan 5, BSoG -1, Room Rome, OR online on Zoom
  • Language of event? English
  • Agenda: The evening will be moderated by Jimmy Nzally, postdoctoral researcher at the Vrije Universiteit Brussel (VUB) who will host:
    • Jennifer Kwao, expert in green politics, climate justice and diaspora youth mobilisation;
    • And more ! 

This activity is part of the O-REMIT project funded by the Belgian government and implemented by IOM Belgium and Luxembourg in partnership with Zidicircle and Entrepreneurs for Entrepreneurs (OVO). This project aims to offer diasporas in Belgium cost-effective alternatives for remittances and opportunities for investing their savings. Additionally, we launched a 10-minute anonymous survey on the behaviors and motivations of people sending remittances: https://forms.office.com/e/ATUvTsd35P

To find out more about this project, visit https://belgium.iom.int/o-remit. Would you like to get involved in the project, let us know: O-REMIT@iom.int !

To register, click here