EUROPEAN CONFERENCE # DIASPORA ACTION FOR AFGHANISTAN

Building on the success from our 2019 conference, “Diaspora Support to Durable Solutions: Afghans in Europe” , The Danish Refugee Council’s Diaspora Programme is organizing a new Conference: “Diaspora Action for Afghanistan”, on May 15-16, 2022, in Brussels, Belgium.

                                                          Registration is now closed
                                                 Click here to follow the conference online

 

BACKGROUND 

Afghanistan’s already dire humanitarian crisis has both worsened and existentially changed following the sudden takeover by the Taliban in August 2021. Already in crisis after four decades of conflict, insecurity, recurrent natural disasters, as well as the global pandemic and its associated economic fall-out, Afghanistan is on the precipice of disaster. Large swathes of the population face a debilitating combination of food security, shelter, protection, and economic recovery needs.

The Afghan diaspora in Europe has responded to this evolving crisis by broadening their engagement from their previous focus on cultural & integration activities, to ramping up engagement in advocacy, protests, awareness raising activities, and emergency fundraising but is still facing important barrier for engagement in Afghanistan, including money transfer, access, and knowledge on how to navigate this new situation. This strong diaspora mobilization is being further strengthened by the more than 28.000 Afghan who were recently evacuated from Afghanistan to Europe alone. Many of these recently arrived Afghans have civil society backgrounds and have brought with them expertise and increased understanding of the context to the diaspora.

Diasporas are increasingly being recognized for the unique position they occupy with a potential to facilitate change, respond to emergencies, and promote peace and development in their country of origin. As groups that move beyond the boundaries of a nation-state and engage transnationally, they hold important economic, social, and potentially political power through engagement in both host and origin countries. Examples of such engagement include, the sending of financial and social remittances, the implementation of humanitarian and development projects as well as the transfer of values, skills, virtual assistance, and philanthropic contributions that can transform the development-related processes in a diaspora’s origin country.

The aim of the conference is to offer a space for Afghan diaspora to come together, network, learn from each other’s and assert their role as a key stakeholder for Afghanistan towards European member states and EU institutions.

The conference will also be an opportunity to endorse and launch an Afghan Diaspora Call to Action prepared by a group of Afghan advocates ahead of the conference.

PROGRAMME

It will be a two-day European conference with 100 participants: the first day will focus on “Getting together”. It will be internal and focus on how the diaspora can better coordinate and collaborate. The second day will be: “A call to action” and will bring external actors to the table for exchange on the role of the diaspora in relation to the new political and operating environment in Afghanistan. Discussion across the 2 days will also serve to help the endorsement process of the Afghan diaspora call to action, which will be the fruit of Afghan diaspora work prior to the conference.

 

ADVOCACY MEETINGS

Advocacy meetings will also be organized on the margin of the conference for a small group of advocates to present the Call to Action.

LANGUAGE

The language of the conference will be English with simultaneous interpretation services from and to English to Dari. When going into break out rooms, no interpretation services will be available, and the language will be English if not decided otherwise by the facilitator.

APPLICATION PROCEDURE

The deadline for application to take part to the conference is 3rd of April. Early applications are encouraged. The registration is now closed, but we invite you to join the conference through the following link: https://bit.ly/Afghanconference
Short-listed applicants were selected considering age, gender, ethnicity, and geography.

FEES AND FINANCIAL SUPPORT

There is no registration fee to attend the conference and DRC will be able to offer diaspora participants support with costs related to attending the conference – this support will only cover flight/train costs to Brussels (reimbursement) and accommodation for up to 3 nights: May 14-16. Breakfast (if you are staying at the hotel we are booking), lunch, coffee breaks and dinner on the first day of the conference will also be covered.

COVID REQUIREMENT

DRC will ensure that we follow Belgian Covid safety measures at the time of the conference, which can include vaccination requirement, testing, masking, and social distancing. Further information will be shared with participants ahead of the conference

CONTACT INFORMATION

Inquiries about the content of the conference should be directed to Adrien Bory, DRC Project Coordinator, [email protected]
Inquiries about local accommodation and logistics as well as all inquiries in Dari/Pashto should be directed to Mr. Obaidullah Abdulhaq at [email protected] .

THE CONFERENCE IS ORGANIZED WITH THE SUPPORT FROM

The content of the conference has been designed in consultation with an Afghan Diaspora Advisory Board as well as a range of other Afghan diaspora organizations. You can find a list of board members with bio here: https://www.drc.ngo/our-work/what-we-do/civil-society-engagement-cse/diaspora/adee-en/adee-ab/.

DANISH REFUGEE COUNCIL

DRC Diaspora Programme is implemented by DRC’s Civil Society Engagement Unit. DRC engages civil society actors rooted in and/or with direct ties to the Global South, and therefore considers diaspora transnational civil society actors an integral part of the civil society we work with. Since 2010, DRC has been working with diaspora groups as transnational civil society actors. Engagement with diaspora is based on a recognition of the significant role they play for people and communities in countries of origin (or heritage), for refugees and migrants in transit, and for newly arrived refugees and migrants in countries of residence, and, consequently, their potential for improving the situation for many of those affected by conflict and displacement.

DRC is present in Afghanistan since 1999 and is a leading humanitarian actor with a robust operational capacity responding to the current emergency situation. DRC works in 18 provinces and count approx. 700 staff. To meet the complex challenge of supporting Afghanistan’s many internally displaced people and their host communities, DRC works across multiple sectors: Protection, Economic Recovery, Shelter and Settlements, Humanitarian Disarmament & Peacebuilding.

STRATEGIC PARTNERS

 

SUPPORTED BY

This conference is supported by the programme Migration & Diaspora, implemented by Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ) on behalf of the Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ).

 

 

Final Report

Programme

Afghan Diaspora Call To Action