Diaspora in Action
Sierra Leonean diaspora humanitarian actions
The Sierra Leone UK Diaspora Ebola Response Taskforce was set up to harness UK Sierra Leonean Diaspora skills, resources and networks in response to the Ebola crisis. To this end, the Taskforce serves as an interface between the main stakeholders addressing the Ebola crisis and the UK Sierra Leonean Diaspora. It helps to coordinate efforts undertaken by Sierra Leonean Diaspora organisations and individuals. It undertakes specific assignments that are better done by the Taskforce than by individual organisations, such as mobilisation of diaspora healthcare and other professionals to assist with the Ebola response, and harnessing of resources to ship a significant volume of essential medical supplies to Sierra Leone.
Somali diaspora humanitarian actions
Ogaden Concern Association (OCA) is a Somali Diaspora Association that was established in 2012 in Copenhagen and has 60 registered members.
After being informed of water shortages in the Kabribeyah Refugee Camp in Ethiopia, Ogaden Concern Association (OCA) applied for approximately 200,000 DKK (around 28,500 US dollars) from the DRC Diaspora Programme in 2014 to ensure access to sufficient safe drinking water and improved sanitation and hygiene practices in the camp.
The project has developed and updated five existing Birkas (cisterns made from concrete that collect rainwater and filter it to provide clean drinking water) in the Kabribeyah refugee camp. OCA estimates that both the local population as well as Somali refugees from the camp benefit from the project, since they share the same water resources.
Part of the DRC Diaspora Programme entails cooperation with a local partner to achieve funding. OCA has a branch in the local area, consisting of people from the refugee camp and from the founding members’ network, who had initiated the contact with Denmark. OCA Ethiopia helped identify the local need for water and water sanitation.
Syrian diaspora humanitarian actions
Syrian diaspora communities began to dispatch food aid to affected communities inside Syria and refugees in neighbouring countries since mid-2011. Since then, they have disseminated medical supplies, equipment and drugs as well as provided cash for hospital maintenance and salaries for doctors to render care to the sick, organised aid deliveries of tent materials, clothing and fuel; and educated/provided scholarships and school materials for Syrian children and youth in emergency situations.
Numerous humanitarian organisations established by Syrian diaspora are today at the forefront of the humanitarian response, providing medical care and relief inside hard-to-reach areas across lines in almost every Syrian province (Svoboda and Pantuliano: 2015).