Diaspora emergency response to the Afghanistan crisis

The 15th of August marks one year since the Taliban took over Afghanistan as coalition troops withdrew. The rapid change in context has further complicated an already challenging situation.

Over 40 years of conflict, recurrent natural disasters, chronic poverty, drought and the COVID-19 pandemic had already left its mark on the Afghan population. Now, the de-facto ruling authorities govern over a precarious humanitarian situation where it is reported that 95% of households do not have enough to eat.

50% of all children under five — around 3.2 million — were expected to suffer from acute malnutrition by the end of 2021 and about 1 million are on the brink of starvation. The Taliban has quickly rolled back women’s rights advances and media freedom and reports of revenge killings and human rights violations proliferate.

The Afghan diaspora: an essential lifeline!

Multiple waves of displacement over the past four decades have resulted in Afghanistan becoming one of the largest refugee-producing countries in the world. Around 6 million Afghans live outside of their country, 45% of them women. However, the Afghan diaspora is diverse and has been supporting family and communities for many years through different capacities. They were able to step into emergency response quickly after the Taliban takeover and scale-up their humanitarian assistance. However, a new set of regulations and restrictions have impacted civil society organizations engagement on the ground.

What this page is about?

We are aiming to support Afghan diaspora organizations in coordinating their response among themselves, as well as improving coordination with institutional humanitarian actors. Diaspora organizations find several resources to support their planning and programming of activities. Contact details to a range of Afghan diaspora networks worldwide can be accessed in our member section below. 

Diaspora Organizations' Areas of Intervention


Food Security


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Diaspora Humanitarian Training Course

Are you new in the humanitarian sector or do you want to improve your humanitarian knowledge in an easy and accessible way? And are you engaged with a diaspora organization?   Then this course is just for you!   DEMAC has designed this course in cooperation with the Humanitarian Leadership Academy for diaspora responders as well as project managers, managers, volunteers, local responders and anyone wanting entry level insight into the humanitarian sector.   Find it in on KAYA Connect   How will you benefit from the training? This course has been made in response to frustrations, questions and development assistance requests from diaspora organizations and their local partners. The training will provide you with   Simple breakdown of the humanitarian principles Responses to the challenges diaspora face following humanitarian principles Increased knowledge in advocacy tools Steps to contribute to policy development What donors are looking for when funding projects Information for effective fundraising Recording the work you do to become a tool for partnerships and funding Monitoring and evaluation skills that apply to your project   It will therefore cover all relevant areas of humanitarian response, such as The Humanitarian Principles, Needs Assessments, Safety & Security, Accountability & Transparency, Organizational Development, Advocacy and Policy, Project Development, Bid Writing, Reporting, Monitoring and Evaluation, Risk Management and Corruption.   How long does the training take? The course is made up of three modules which will take 125 minutes in total (extra time may be taken to complete activities in a supporting workbook).   What does it cost? Good news: This course is free and you even will be able to download a certificate once you have completed all modules.   In which language is the course available? In English and Arabic   Photo Credit: Annie Spratt on


Afghanistan's humanitarian crisis and its strong diaspora

Afghan Diaspora Engagement in 2021: A Real-Time Report   On 16 August 2021 the Taliban announced that they had gained control of Afghanistan. The takeover resulted in a heated public debate about the two-decade war, the humanitarian implications of the withdrawal, and the future of women and civil society in Afghanistan.   Together with Danish Refugee Council, USAID and DANIDA, DEMAC conducted a Real-Time Analysis in the immediate aftermath of the Taliban takeover in Mid-August of the engagement efforts by Afghan diasporas in Europe, USA, Australia and Canada.    What role does the Afghan diaspora play?   The role of the Afghan diaspora is now in flux; many prominent civil society figures are fleeing and diaspora organizations have been called on by the media to comment on the political and human rights situation, while simultaneously navigating the personal and professional effects of the new political reality.In our report, we are asking on how this reality does change the self-perception of the diaspora, and the way they engage with Afghanistan?   Who and what was assessed?   To capture Afghan diaspora engagement in the current political crisis, the report used two main approaches to data collection. First, online media monitoring was conducted from 15 August 2021 to 30 September 2021 of 60 Afghan diaspora organizations from Europe (26), North America (21), Afghanistan’s neighboring countries (9), Australia (5), and one global organization. It consisted of a daily review of online diaspora statements, events, and fundraising pages through 100 social media accounts. To provide additional context, key informant interviews were conducted with representatives of ten ADOs, as well as DRC Diaspora Program staff.   Key Findings Rapid Response and Self-Mobilization The Afghan diaspora organizations have shown rapid self-mobilization in response to the current crisis in Afghanistan. For the majority of them, self-mobilization and re-evaluation of focus areas had already taken place in few weeks leading up to the fall of Kabul. Live-streaming services Community engagement and communication through hosting Q&A sessions on resettlement options for Afghans as well as family and organizations looking to support family and friends in resettlement addressed a very specific gap in information flow. The use of live streaming services as well as video conferencing - only further normalized by the COVID-19 era - was put to use. Rise in fundraising campaigns As the majority of diaspora organizations rely on donations from the community and membership fees to support their activities - there was a sudden rise in fundraising campaigns. Read more key findings in our report below. Photo credits: Stefanie Glinski, Afghanistan 2021

Diaspora Organizations involved in the response

DEMAC is a global initiative aiming at enhancing mutual knowledge and coordination, communication and coherence between diaspora humanitarian actors and the institutional humanitarian system.

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