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 served as an interface between the main stakeholders addressing the Ebola crisis and the UK Sierra Leonean Diaspora. It helped to coordinate efforts undertaken by Sierra Leonean Diaspora organisations and individuals. It undertook specific assignments that were 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.

Sierra Leone War Trust for Children - SLWT
SLWT Facebook Page
SLUKDERT Facebook Page


Ebola: the story of the Sierra Leone diaspora response that no one is telling, The Gardian, October 2014

UK and USA Sierra Leonean diaspora cooperate to airlift US$85,000 medical supplies for emergency Ebola response effort, Sierra Express Media, January 2015

The Ebola crisis and the Sierra Leone diaspora, HPN, Chukwu-Emeka Chikezie, June 2015

Somali diaspora humanitarian actions

Somali diasporas are responding to humanitarian needs during emergency situations by sending remittances to families in times of crisis, drought and flooding to provide emergency food and shelter; supplying hospitals with materials and personnel; fundraising for disaster relief; engaging in fishing/canal irrigation, particularly for people who have been displaced as a result of war/ conflict; and engaging in WASH projects.

Diaspora Drought Response in Somaliland and Putland in early 2016

This report provides findings on the Somali diaspora response to the regional drought/crisis that affected Somaliland and Puntland in early 2016. The report includes a broad mapping exercise and discussion of responses from the European diaspora, as well as an overview and some more detailed case studies of actual responses in Somaliland and Puntland.

Diaspora Drought Response - Somaliland and Puntland

Abaaraha Crisis Mapping

Abaaraha meaning drought in Somali, is an online crisis mapping system in which urgent needs, deaths, malnutrition and IDP/feeding centres are mapped in order to promote and coordinate rapid responses. The site is based on phone calls, e-mails, tweets and online inputs from people on the ground, in the diaspora, organizations, and through social media alerts, including Viber and WhatsApp. The Abaaraha team assesses all information for accuracy and relevance before it appears online. The system was established by five SomaliSwedish tech developers and social activists in response to the drought, and was launched on 16 March 2017.


Young Somalis raise funds for famine prevention - one dollar at a time, OCHA, May 2017

The Ambassador behind the global campaign #CaawiWalaal to relieve famine in Somalia, OneYoungWorld, 2017


Somali Faces, a group of Somali humanitarians @isomaliawards

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 International and local/diaspora actors in the Syria response. A diverging set of systems?, Svoboda and Pantuliano, ODI, 2015.


The diaspora groups bringing aid to Syria: 'This isn't a job, it's now our life', The Guardian, June 2016