Somalia's Missing Million; The Somali Diaspora And Its Role In Development 2009

29 Aug 2011

Report Summary

The Somali Diaspora makes a major contribution to the Somali economy and livelihoods through remittances, humanitarian assistance and participation in recovery and reconstruction efforts. Without this support, the economy of the country would have collapsed long ago.

Nevertheless, the scale of assistance from the Somali Diaspora and the manner in which their support is delivered on the ground is little understood by the international development community.

For the purpose of improving humanitarian and development planning, UNDP commissioned this study to improve its understanding of the role of the Diaspora with a view to establishing better channels of communication with them and with the development and humanitarian communities
they sustain inside Somalia.

This study seeks to highlight where and how the Diaspora’s efforts are currently focused and to maximize the valuable contribution that the Diaspora can make to humanitarian, recovery and development efforts.

A partial survey of organized Diaspora networks formed part of the study. Based on the findings of the study, a workshop explored possible mechanisms for engagement between the Diaspora and development partners, and made recommendations to enhance the achievement of their common developmental goals.


  • The Somali Diaspora makes a major contribution to the Somali economy and livelihoods
  • The Somali Diaspora a major investor in the country and provides 80% of the start- up capital for small and medium enterprises
  • Somali Diaspora remains the driving force behind the current informal economy
  • what UNDP could do to enhance the development efforts of the Diaspora more effectively

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