• Five inaugural grantees announced today are Accra (Ghana), Arua (Uganda), Beira (Mozambique), Johannesburg (South Africa) and Monrovia (Liberia).
  • With a new $1,000,000 funding commitment, the IKEA Foundation will add an additional five grantees, doubling the effort launched by Mayors Migration Council and C40 Cities in partnership with Robert Bosch Stiftung.
  • Download the full press release for mayoral and partner quotes and further background details.

Today, during the 2022 United Nations International Migration Review Forum (IMRF), the Global Cities Fund for Migrants and Refugees (GCF) announced five new city grantees along with a US $1 million commitment from the IKEA Foundation to add five cities to the pipeline. 

Launched in 2021 at the United Nations Climate Change Conference (COP26) by the Mayors Migration Council (MMC) in partnership with C40 Cities Climate Leadership Group (C40 Cities) and with support from the Robert Bosch Stiftung (RBSG), the Inclusive Climate Action (ICA) chapter of the GCF drives financial and technical resources to African cities addressing the needs of migrants and displaced people affected by the climate crisis.

The World Bank estimates that as many as 85 million sub-Saharan Africans could migrate due to the climate crisis by 2050, all within one of the world’s fastest urbanising regions. African mayors are taking bold action locally and internationally, through mechanisms such as the C40-MMC Global Mayors Task Force on Climate and Migration, to protect their residents from heat, flooding, or landslides, and to welcome people displaced by climate impacts. But they face an urban finance gap that limits their ability to do so at scale, as the recent report Municipal Finance for Migrants and Refugees: the State of Play shows. This is where the GCF comes into play. 

Recently recognised in Fast Company’s 2022 World Changing Ideas Awards, the GCF builds precedents of fiscal feasibility in city governments that are often disregarded by donors with low risk tolerance by directly funding cities to implement projects of their own design.  Launched in 2021 with a seed investment of US$1 million from the Open Society Foundations, the GCF has since raised more than US$4.5 million to support 20 cities that will improve the lives of more than 20,000 migrants and displaced and marginalised people worldwide. 

The new projects awarded by the Selection Committee of experts include: 

  • Access to Services for Migrants Working in the Informal Waste Sector in Accra, Ghana
    Accra will survey migrants working in the city’s informal waste economy and facilitate their access to financial inclusion, healthcare, and childcare, while improving the city’s overall waste management practices.
  • Income Opportunities for Migrants and Refugees in First Municipal Recycling Center in Arua, Uganda
    Arua will create employment opportunities for migrants and refugees in its first municipal recycling programme, while introducing environmentally sustainable practices and curricula in schools, health centres, and other public institutions.
  • Pathways for Dignified Relocation in Beira, Mozambique
    Beira will refurbish unused city assets as temporary shelters for local communities impacted by storm surges and rising sea levels, while offering pathways for dignified and voluntary relocation along with risk-awareness-building and livelihood support.
  • Nature-Based Solutions to Reduce Climate Displacement in Monrovia, Liberia
    Monrovia will mitigate flooding and coastal erosion by planting mangrove trees, creating green spaces around the city and offering green job training opportunities to migrants and internally displaced youth in the process.
  • Food Security for Displaced Residents in Johannesburg, South Africa
    Johannesburg will provide food security to internally displaced people by facilitating access to farmable city-owned land and expanding their access to the city’s existing urban agriculture training programmes, including aquaponics and rooftop gardens. 

The new US$1 million contribution from the IKEA Foundation will expand support to five additional African cities, building momentum towards the 2022 United Nations Climate Change Conference (COP27) in Sharm el-Sheikh, Egypt, this November. 

To build on this progress, the GCF partners are calling on international donors to increase the number of supported cities to at least 22 by the end of 2022—a global movement to support the unmet resource needs of city governments in providing for migrants, refugees, and internally displaced people, 22 by 2022. To learn more and become a partner, contact fund@mayorsmigrationcouncil.org.

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