Today, the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) announced it provided nearly $2.9 million in FY 2021 funding to support two projects that leverage the unique role of diaspora communities in responding and building resilience to the world’s largest humanitarian crises. During a time when humanitarian needs continue to grow globally, USAID recognizes the importance of supporting diaspora-led innovations that bring in new voices, skills, and abilities to save and improve the lives of the world’s most vulnerable people.

  • The Diaspora Partnership Accelerator–USAID, with support from the Haiti Renewal Alliance, called on innovators in Haiti to pitch solutions in the agribusiness, health, and shelter sectors. From a pool of 52 applicants, a panel of technical experts and Haitian community members selected three applicants–one per category–to each receive $150,000 to work with USAID partner Miyamoto to enact Haitian-driven ideas over the next year: 
  • (Agribusiness) CarriBBrew - Supporting livelihoods of coffee farmers in Haiti and adding value to Haiti’s cacao and coffee supply chain by expanding partnerships with consumers worldwide. 
  • (Health) Haiti Outreach Pwoje Espwa (H.O.P.E.) - Providing much needed health services to underserved families in the commune of Borgne. 
  • (Shelter) Friends of Matènwa - Using waste materials to build affordable housing. 
  • The Switchboard is a project that aims to bridge the divide between older and younger diaspora from three select countries through the creation of innovative digital content including a mobile app. The mobile app can be “switched on” to allow diaspora networks to better connect, share information, and build collective and sustainable solutions to humanitarian crises. USAID has recruited Shabaka to implement the project. 

Projects will run through March 2023. For more information on USAID’s humanitarian work around the world, please click here.