Municipal Finance

Learn how the Mayors Migration Council is unlocking financial resources for cities both by influencing external funding mechanisms and by creating its own, the Global Cities Fund for Migrants and Refugees.

A group of people sitting around a conference table.
Influencing multilateral funds to support city-level action on migration and displacement

Between 2019 and 2022, the MMC played an active role as a member of the Steering Committee of the UN Migration Multi-Partner Trust Fund (Migration MPTF), a US$47 million UN financing mechanism to support GCM implementation projects. 

As a result of MMC advocacy, 75% of MPTF funded projects entered into implementation agreements with local governments – the original target was 30%. Specifically, the MMC successfully advocated for the fund’s Operations Manual to explicitly include city-level projects as one of the targets for project selection and leveraged the Steering Committee seat to direct more than US$12 million to city-level projects. This includes a $1.7 million project to promote decent work and social protection for migrants and refugees in Mexico City and Santiago de Chile and a $2.5 million project to strengthen the capacity of eight border cities in the Amazon to address the challenges of migration, climate change, and health.  

Building on this precedent, in 2021, the MMC secured a seat on the Advisory Board of the EU-UNOPS Lives in Dignity (LiD) Grant Facility, a €24 million mechanism to channel funding to promote development oriented approaches to displacement crises. As a result of its advocacy, the MMC unlocked nearly €4 million for city-level projects in Bangladesh, Colombia, and Costa Rica. 

To socialize and scale these approaches, the MMC issued the brief Municipal Finance for Migrants and Refugees in partnership with United Cities and Local Governments (UCLG), UN Capital Development Fund (UNCDF), and the United Nations Human Settlements Programme (UN-Habitat), offering concrete recommendations to unlock financing for more inclusive cities. 

Building a marketplace of city-led solutions with the Global Cities Fund for Migrants and Refugees

The MMC created the Global Cities Fund for Migrants and Refugees (GCF) to address the unmet needs of cities as they support migrants, refugees, and internally displaced people in the face of pressing challenges, from global pandemics to the climate crisis.

Beginning in 2021 as an experiment to support five cities in the face of the pandemic, the GCF has become a multimillion fund supported by five donors with a pipeline of 28 city grantees delivering solutions on health, economic inclusion, climate migration, early childhood development, and more. 

In successfully delivering their projects, GCF cities are building their own case for more direct funding. To date, 90 percent of GCF city graduates have already used our seed funding as proof of concept to independently unlock additional investments to continue or expand their projects.
Based on this success, the MMC mayors and donors set a vision to bring the GCF to US$50 million to drive momentum and transformative change through multi-year grants and more predictable funding rounds, with the aim to model behavior for large multilateral funds.


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