Accra was selected as a recipient of the Global Cities Fund for Migrants and Refugees (GCF), an initiative to respond to the unmet needs of cities as they support migrants, refugees, and internally displaced people (IDPs).
Launched in 2021 at the United Nations Climate Change Conference (COP26) by the Mayors Migration Council (MMC) and C40 Cities Climate Leadership Group (C40 Cities) in partnership with 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.
Accra will use the funds to 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.
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 urbanizing regions. African mayors are taking bold action locally and internationally, including through 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.
In Accra, 80% of employment is in the informal sector, which includes street vendors, home-based work and waste pickers. At the same time, 40% of internal coastal migration in Ghana is climate related, further exposing Accra to pressure from migration and compounding informal sector vulnerabilities, particularly for migrants and refugees, who struggle to access basic services such as healthcare and
childcare through precarious informal sector work.
“The Global Cities Fund for Migrants and Refugees will empower us to better understand the experiences of Accra’s migrant communities, especially those in the informal economy displaced by the climate crisis, and mold our services and programs around their needs while making our city more ecologically sustainable,” said Elizabeth K. T. Sackey, Mayor of Accra, Ghana.
“Our five grantees show in practice what it means to put people at the center of climate action,” said Vittoria Zanuso, Executive Director of the Mayors Migration Council. “Collectively, they will improve the lives of thousands of migrants, displaced people, and marginalized residents affected by the climate crisis, while working with them as allies in the green transition – I have no doubt that these lighthouses
will inspire replication in Africa and around the world.”
A Selection Committee of subject matter experts and practitioners reviewed submissions and selected Accra and other city grantees based on their anticipated impact, engagement of affected communities in designing or delivering the project, commitment from city leadership, and likelihood of the program’s institutionalization or replication, among other criteria.
The final cities include Accra (Ghana), Arua (Uganda), Beira (Mozambique), Johannesburg (South Africa), and Monrovia (Liberia).
The Mayors Migration Council (MMC) is a mayor-led advisory and advocacy organization that aims to accelerate ambitious global action on migration and displacement through city diplomacy and practice, creating the conditions for urban migrants, displaced people, and receiving communities to thrive. To fulfill our vision, we support mayors to i) access and influence State-led diplomatic processes most
relevant to migration and displacement; ii) secure financial and technical resources to implement global migration and displacement goals locally, including through the Global Cities Fund; iii) elevate mayoral leadership on the international stage through global communications; iv) generate and disseminate knowledge grounded in local experiences; and v) build relationships with local and global champions.
Created by mayors for mayors, we are a nimble team of political advisors and urban practitioners led by a Leadership Board of global city leaders, including the mayors of Amman, Bristol, Dhaka North, Freetown, Kampala, Los Angeles, Milan, Montevideo, Montreal, and Zürich. We are managed as a sponsored project of Rockefeller Philanthropy Advisors and operate with the institutional support of the Open Society Foundations, the Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation, and the Robert Bosch Stiftung, in addition to other project-based donors.
About the Global Cities Fund for Migrants and Refugees
The Global Cities Fund for Migrants and Refugees (GCF), is an initiative launched by the Mayors Migration Council (MMC) to respond to the unmet needs of cities as they support migrants, refugees, and internally displaced people. By directly channeling international resources to city- led projects of their own design, the GCF builds precedents of fiscal feasibility in city governments that are often disregarded by donors with low-risk tolerance.