The data on this page are a sampling from a global diaspora survey circulated in early 2021. Over 120 diaspora members from more than 35 countries answered questions on how they currently participate in humanitarian assistance in their countries of origin, any barriers they face in conducting intervention activities, and what types, sectors and phases of assistance are involved. The survey was shared (and is available in) four languages: English, French, Spanish, and Italian.
For decades, remittance flows have been larger than total official development assistance levels in low- and middle-income countries, and more stable than private capital flows. In 2020, which experts forecast as a year when a global pandemic would decrease remittance levels globally, the decline was nowhere near as considerable as predicted. Migrant workers and diaspora members —many employed in essential services— continued to send money home. Mexico, Egypt, Pakistan and Bangladesh all even saw rises in incoming remittances.
Yet, diasporas provide much more than financial support. Since the beginning of the COVID-19 outbreak, diasporas have forged creative, transnational responses to support their communities in both their new countries of residence and those of origin. Diasporas provide supplies to hospitals; they equip communities with tutors and translators for school age children. They create helplines for families affected by the pandemic, developing campaigns to combat misinformation. And so much more.
To increase the scope of humanitarian assistance around the globe, the International Organization for Migration (IOM) has implemented a project aimed at developing and piloting a framework for diaspora engagement in humanitarian assistance.
In early 2021, the project circulated a global diaspora survey to explore best practices migrants can leverage to strengthen their engagement. Over 120 diaspora members from more than 35 countries responded to the survey. The responses received provide a small snapshot of how diasporas currently participate in humanitarian assistance, any barriers they face while conducting intervention activities, and what types, sectors and phases of assistance are involved.