Refugee Leadership Alliance

Refugee Leadership Alliance

The Context

Wherever there are refugees, there are people within those communities with the knowledge and motivation to find solutions to the diverse challenges they face. What is overwhelmingly missing or unavailable to these groups are resources, particularly funds. 

Asia Pacific Network of Refugees is refugee lead, and seeks to transform the aid sector by example, by directly funding refugee-lead organisations in the region and providing resource/ capacity strengthening support as requested by refugees. Where possible we prioritise women leaders, and the development of women’s potential to lead. We use the Global Refugee Participation Pledge to mobilise allies. 

We have established the first-of-its-kind RLO-to-RLO Fund in the Asia region —a fund for refugees by refugees—housed within Asia Pacific Network of Refugees (APNOR). The fund will aggregate contributions and redistribute them to RLOs around the Asia region.

Who We Are

We are the Refugee Leadership Alliance (‘The Alliance’), a cross-sectoral regional initiative to increase networks, funds, and influence for refugee leaders and refugee-led organisations in the region. 

APNOR and a separately constituted Board of Trustees all with lived experience – will manage the Pooled Fund.

Pilot Pooled Funding

This initial fund will provide core funding directly to refugee-led organisations (RLOs) working in first destination countries, given how difficult it is to access funding networks as a refugee in the region, compared to in a country like Australia or New Zealand. However, we actively support domestic initiatives, particularly those that stand in meaningful solidarity with people who lack permanent protection.

Mentoring / Capacity Strengthening

This initiative aims to provide practical assistance to strengthen the leadership and capability of refugee leaders and organizations. APNOR has conducted a survey with refugee led organisations in the region to unpack the capacity needs. APNOR and APRRN is designing a capacity building program to support and strengthen the work of RLOs.  

‘Pooled Fund’ Trustees:

Najeeba Wazefedost

CEO, APNOR / Co-Chair Alliance

Adama Kamara

Director CEO, Refugee Council Australia / Co-Chair Alliance

Hafsar Tameesuddin

Chair, Asia Pacific Refugee Rights Network - Based in New Zealand

Hayso Thako

Refugee Leader from Thai-Burma Border

Muhammad Nokhim

Cox Bazaar, Bangladesh

We are working on two complementary initiatives to support RLOs to succeed when they do access funds.


Asia Pacific Network of Refugees (APNOR) is the only region-wide refugee-led network of refugee-led initiatives in the Asia Pacific region that is working with and for refugees. APNOR was established in 2018, on the recommendation of Asia Pacific Summit of Refugees (APSOR).

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