Creating Sustainable Solutions to Recovery with the Ukrainian Diaspora

Creating Sustainable Solutions to Recovery with the Ukrainian Diaspora

Ukrainians across the United States are determined to build a better future for their home country. 

Beyond providing lifesaving aid since the start of the war, Ukrainian-Americans seek long-term solutions on the road to recovery.  Together with partners, the International Organization for Migration (IOM), USA for IOM, and the U.S. Government are actively providing support to the needs on the ground and are prioritizing the innovative strategies being created to fill humanitarian gaps.  

As part of their Diaspora Voices and Ukraine Partnership Series initiatives, the U.S. Department of State’s Office of Global Partnerships (GP) held a roundtable event on September 13th with U.S.-based Ukrainian diaspora organizations. The event was a collaboration between GP, IOM, USA for IOM, USAID, and the Ukrainian Embassy in the United States, with the Ukrainian Educational and Cultural Center (UECC).  

During the event at the UECC in Jenkintown, Pennsylvania, the Ukrainian diaspora’s vital contributions supporting communities affected by the ongoing war were recognized. The discussion focused on the strengths and experiences of the diaspora organizations, the capacities of government and nongovernmental actors to help sustain existing efforts, continued collaboration and mutual long-term goals for Ukraine. The need to strengthen private sector engagement was recognized as essential to creating long-term solutions. 

The critical importance of local actors was emphasized, as was the need for Ukrainians to ‘take back the narrative’ of the war and to tell the personal stories of those affected. Donations have decreased dramatically since the first months of the war, and by showcasing the direct human impact and stories of resilience, the attendees are hopeful the American public will understand why support to populations affected by the conflict continues to be a priority.  

The Ukrainian organizations present at the event have extensive experience in providing humanitarian assistance to Ukraine, including sourcing and sending medical kits and other supplies, and traveling to Ukraine themselves to provide direct support to hospitals, schools and other local organizations. These powerful civil society groups are highly motivated to coordinate with large-scale actors to most effectively support ongoing programs that benefit Ukrainian communities. 

With over 5.1 million internally displaced persons in Ukraine, there are multiple urgent challenges to be addressed. Roundtable participants discussed steps to recovery, including rebuilding infrastructure, and addressing the collective trauma of Ukrainians and post-traumatic stress disorder, which is widespread. 

Since the start of the full-scale war in Ukraine, IOM has refocused its programs and projects, and from February 2022 to March 2023 reached close to three million people with humanitarian support that includes provision of non-food and hygiene items; water, sanitation and hygiene support; multipurpose cash; emergency health and mental health and psychosocial support; assistance to collective centers; protection and other types of support. IOM’s Mission in Ukraine further fights trafficking in human beings, assists the Government in dealing with irregular migration, improving its migration management system, and creating migrant-inclusive health practices and policies. Click here to learn more about IOM’s work in Ukraine.  

More than 463,000 people affected by the Ukraine conflict have received multisectoral support through USA for IOM support to IOM’s emergency response. The response focuses on providing shelter, healthcare, cash assistance and immediate basic needs for conflict-affected populations. These include IDPs, host communities and stranded third-country nationals.  

IOM engages with diaspora communities globally as part of the 3E Strategy of Engaging, Enabling and Empowering diasporas. To meet the increasing needs arising from multiple crises worldwide, IOM’s work with diasporas not only expands the reach of humanitarian action but leverages their skills and networks, puts agency back into the hands of affected communities, and helps to build more sustainable, long-term solutions to crisis situations.  

To learn more about opportunities to partner, contact USA for IOM at or IOM Ukraine at To learn more about IOM’s work and initiatives with diasporas, contact IOM Washington’s Diaspora Engagement Unit at  

USA for IOM Launches Entrepreneurship in Movement at Summit of the Americas

USA for IOM Launches Entrepreneurship in Movement at Summit of the Americas

Los Angeles – USA for IOM (International Organization for Migration) launched Entrepreneurship in Movement today, an innovative program aimed at expanding sustainable livelihoods and positive connections for migrants and refugees and their host communities across the Americas. The program builds on a collaboration between USA for IOM and the Citi Foundation that began in 2019 and aims to help refugees and migrants from Venezuela rebuild their lives with dignity and is currently being implemented in Ecuador and Peru, with the goal of expanding to countries in the Americas. 

“Entrepreneurship should be part of the long-term solutions needed to address the consequences of large movements of displaced persons, in addition to the important measures that are put in place to cope with the immediate effects of humanitarian crises,” IOM Director General António Vitorino said during the program’s launch event on the margins of the Summit of the Americas. 

The socioeconomic integration of migrants is integral to building a sustainable, resilient, and equitable future is the theme of this year’s Summit.  

The Americas are witnessing the largest refugee and migrant movements in the region’s recent history. According to R4V, more than six million refugees and migrants from Venezuela have left their country of origin, with more than five million being hosted in the region. Many Venezuelans possess the skills to contribute to the local economy but struggle with access to employment. Entrepreneurship in Movement creates that access by providing training, social mentorship and coaching to help migrants create sustainable livelihoods through their businesses.  

In addition, the Citi Foundation enables migrant entrepreneurs to access seed capital critical to turning their vision into reality. In Ecuador and Peru combined, nearly 700 migrant entrepreneurs have been trained, with more than 500 receiving seed capital for their businesses. 

“For the past three years, the Citi Foundation has proudly supported the work of USA for IOM to empower vulnerable migrants and refugees through critical job training, education and entrepreneurship opportunities,” said Florencia Spangaro, Chief Operating Officer at the Citi Foundation. “Programs like Entrepreneurship in Movement help scale entrepreneurship training within the communities that need it most, and we look forward to seeing how it will support migrants and their families in achieving financial stability.”   

Entrepreneurship in Movement also strengthens the local economy by launching new businesses in their host community, fostering job creation and social cohesion to fight against xenophobia and promote the shared value of diversity.  

Empowering young entrepreneurs at Summit of the Americas

Empowering young entrepreneurs at Summit of the Americas

The 9 th Summit of the Americas begins June 6 th in Los Angeles, California. The focus is
“Building a Sustainable, Resilient an Equitable Future.” As world leaders work to build a
better future, we must engage the generation hoping to flourish in the future we are
trying to build.

Young people add their voices to the Summit of the Americas in the Sixth Youth
Americas Forum. USA for IOM CEO Maria Moreno engages with this critical audience
as the moderator of a panel focused on Supporting the Integration of Migrants in the
Americas on June 7 th . The purpose is to engage stakeholders across multiple sectors to support livelihoods, advance local development and create social cohesion between
migrants and host communities.

USA for IOM also plans to elevate our work as part of IOM’s Venezuelan response with
news about our Entrepreneurship in Movement program. The ongoing project, in
cooperation with Citi Foundation, works to assist Venezuelan migrants starting new
lives and new businesses in host communities. Maria Moreno explains, “We celebrate
the opportunity to highlight our “Entrepreneurship in Movement Program – EiM” as it
enters a third year. Investments like these are both aligned with the aims of this year’s
Summit and are key to promoting economic resilience and inclusive, peaceful, thriving
societies for all.”

The program mirrors the goals of this year’s Summit, striving to build a sustainable,
resilient, and equitable future for migrants and refugees. The VI Young Americas Forum is hosted and managed by the Young Americas Business Trust in partnership with the Organization of America States.