Last 30-31 May, MedCities participated in a regional workshop on the role of Municipalities in the refugees’ crisis response. The event was co-organised the Center for Mediterranean Integration (CMI) and the World Bank in partnership with UN HABITAT, and with the support of ACTED, the Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ), the International Rescue Committee (IRC), Medcities, and United Cities and Local Governments Middle East and West Asia (UCLG-MEWA).

 

More than 100 representatives of municipalities, central government focal points, non-governmental and civil society stakeholders, as well as development and humanitarian institutions from the Middle East, North Africa (MENA) and Turkey, participated in the peer-to-peer learning workshop targeting municipalities hosting refugees.

The main objective of this event was to foster cross-regional exchanges and learning between host communities on best practices and innovative solutions to attain the common welfare of refugees and host communities.

Municipalities in the Mediterranean are at the forefront in providing assistance to migrants and refugees. While 60% of worldwide refugees live in cities, this figure amounts to 85% in the MENA region. The urban nature of refugee influx poses a number of significant challenges to municipalities, and places great strain on the carrying capacity of host communities.

This event allowed municipalities to share, identify and discuss concrete actions for more effective responses to the refugee crisis.

The two-day workshop included interactive technical working groups for municipalities covering: municipal collaborations for resilience; service delivery and preparedness; local economic development and labor market inclusion; social cohesion. It also included a half-day field visit to Irbid.

The main discussions revolved around three main ideas. First of all, the need to coordinate strategies at the national and local levels in order to face challenges weighing on host communities in Jordan, Lebanon, Turkey, as well as selected North African and European cities – namely on service delivery, local economic development, labor market inclusion and social cohesion. On the other hand, the priority of combining humanitarian and development work for a short to mid-term vision to support both Syrian refugees and host communities (work opportunities, housing, solid waste, etc.). Finally,  the discussions emphasized the need of mobilizing resources and strengthening multi-partner collaborations towards supporting refugee and host communities welfare.

For more information on the meeting and discussions… 

For more on CMI Mediterranean Refugees and Host Communities Program…

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