New city grantees announced at COP27 include Casablanca (Morocco), Dar es Salaam (Tanzania), eThekwini (South Africa), Hargeisa (Somaliland), Nairobi

Global Cities Fund for Migrants and Refugees Announces Six New African City Grantees Delivering Solutions for People Affected by Climate Crisis

New city grantees announced today include Casablanca (Morocco), Dar es Salaam (Tanzania), eThekwini (South Africa), Hargeisa (Somaliland), Nairobi (Kenya), and Nyamagabe (Rwanda).

Sharm El-Sheikh, November 16, 2022 — Today, on the sidelines of the 27th United Nations Climate Change Conference (COP27), the Global Cities Fund for Migrants and Refugees (GCF) announced a new commitment from the IKEA Foundation of $1,200,000 to provide direct financial and technical support to six additional African cities addressing the needs of migrants and displaced people affected by the climate crisis.

The World Bank estimates that the climate breakdown could push 86 million Africans to migrate within their own countries by 2050, all within one of the world’s fastest urbanizing regions. Despite greenhouse gas emissions across the continent representing less than 4 percent of the world’s total, African cities are working to address the current and future impacts of climate hazards — whether that’s investing in urban adaptation to reduce displacement; safely relocating residents who have no other choice but to move; or increasing access to urban infrastructure, services, and green jobs for climate migrants.

With the contribution of the IKEA Foundation, the GCF will expand direct support to the following cities:

  • Casablanca, Morocco, will renovate its Souk of African Solidarity, providing additional space for migrants and asylum seekers impacted by the climate crisis to start green businesses in the heart of the city.

  • Dar es Salaam, Tanzania, will connect migrants and refugees to entrepreneurship and employment opportunities across the city’s waste management system.

  • EThekwini (Durban), South Africa, will employ migrants and displaced people in the city’s recycling program and establish an online CARE portal to link service providers with people who need to access critical services both before and after climate disasters.

  • Hargeisa, Somaliland, will work hand-in-hand with internally displaced families living in flood-prone areas to relocate them to safer areas of the city and provide them with land ownership.

  • Nairobi, Kenya, will provide migrant, refugee, and receiving communities with green jobs and partner with them to make Nairobi’s waterways and public spaces greener and safer for newcomers.

  • Nyamagabe District, Rwanda, will convert waste from a local refugee camp into renewable energy for the area at large, reducing deforestation, creating green jobs, and building social cohesion in the process.

The GCF is expanding at a critical juncture in the global response to the climate crisis. During COP27, mayors worldwide are advocating for national governments to increase climate adaptation finance to 50 percent of total climate finance, following the lead of UN Secretary General António Guterres, and to make sure that these resources are directed to cities especially in low- and middle-income countries.

Mayoral Quotes:

Casablanca Mayor Nabila Rmili said: “While climate-related migration is among the factors driving Casablanca’s population growth, we must ensure the socio-economic inclusion and financial self-sufficiency of our migrant and refugee neighbors while transitioning to a greener economy. The support of the Global Cities Fund for Migrants and Refugees will bring our vibrant street market culture into the 21st century by helping us create Casablanca’s first African Souk Solidaire. This market will provide the space and resources for African migrants and refugees to contribute to a greener and more inclusive local economy.”

Dar es Salaam Mayor Omary S. Kumbilamoto said: “Dar es Salaam welcomes 100,000 people every day from various parts of Tanzania and the region, largely due to the climate crisis. With our booming population, it is critical we address unplanned growth and the unsustainable use of our city’s natural resources. The Global Cities Fund for Migrants and Refugees is helping us respond inclusively and equitably by creating more employment and entrepreneurship opportunities across the waste management sector for migrants, refugees, and marginalized Tanzanians.”

EThekwini (Durban) Mayor, Cllr. Mxolisi Kaunda said: “Recent floods in eThekwini have highlighted the need to provide for our migrant and refugee residents who remain undocumented and out of our reach. It is an issue that drives homelessness and erodes these communities’ connection to basic services like health care and emergency response. Financial resources from the Global Cities Fund for Migrants and Refugees will be critical to launching our CARE self-registration platform, which will give identification to eThekwini’s most vulnerable, help our city better understand the needs of our displaced populations, and ensure essential public services are readily accessible by all, especially in the aftermath of future climate shocks.”

Hargeisa Mayor Abdikarim Ahmed Mooge said: “We are delighted by Hargeisa’s selection as a grantee for the Mayors Migration Council’s Global Cities Fund for Migrants and Refugees. We feel the impacts of the climate crisis daily in Hargeisa. In communities near urban dams, torrential rains have resulted in dangerous floods that sweep away homes and upend livelihoods in an instant. Our municipality is focused on providing relocation and financial support to protect our city’s most vulnerable families living in high-risk zones, including internally displaced Somalis seeking safety in Hargeisa. This wouldn’t be possible without the assistance of the Global Cities Fund for Migrants and Refugees.”

Nairobi Governor Arthur Johnson Sakaja said: “As one of the economic capitals of Africa, the climate crisis has brought new challenges to the residents of Nairobi, especially our most vulnerable residents, including migrant and displaced communities. But our government is stepping up, backed by the Global Cities Fund for Migrants and Refugees, to improve the livelihoods of our residents through inclusive access to business development and civic activism opportunities that will create green jobs, clean our waterways, and give all the opportunity to enjoy Nairobi’s economic growth.”

Nyamagabe District Mayor Hildebrand Niyomwungeri said: “African cities may be disproportionately impacted by the climate crisis, but we’re also the ones showing the world how to develop innovative, inclusive solutions that make cities more sustainable—environmentally, economically, and socially. The helping hand of the Global Cities Fund for Migrants and Refugees will create jobs for our displaced neighbors, convert waste into greener energy sources, and build vital kinship between Nyamagabe’s refugee camp and its wider community.”


Unlocks direct technical and financial resources to cities

By directly funding cities to implement inclusive programs of their own design, the GCF builds precedents of fiscal feasibility in city governments that are often disregarded by donors with low risk tolerance.

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