In 2022, the City of Accra, Ghana, was selected as a grantee of the Global Cities Fund for Migrants and Refugees (GCF), the MMC’s instrument to channel international funding directly to cities to implement inclusive projects of their own design.
With support from the GCF, the City of Accra is integrating more than 200 migrants waste workers into the formal economy and facilitating their access to financial inclusion services, childcare, and healthcare.
Accra is a primary destination for internal migrants within Ghana and from West Africa. Upon arrival, many migrants struggle to access livelihoods, healthcare, childcare, among other basic social services, due to language barriers, discrimination, and lack of documentation. As a result, many migrants resort to employment in the city’s informal waste management sector where they are underemployed, work in hazardous conditions, and risk criminalization. They are also disproportionately exposed to the impacts of climate change, including heat-related stress, disease, and food insecurity. Poor data collection and a lack of community engagement with the informal waste economy has hindered the City of Accra’s efforts to promote economic, financial, and social inclusion for migrant and non-migrant waste workers alike.
Accra is using the GCF grant to help migrant and non-migrant informal waste workers overcome barriers to financial inclusion, healthcare, and childcare and build resilience to climate change.
The City of Accra is surveying informal waste workers to collect disaggregated data on their economic status and access to national identification and health insurance. This data will help Accra more effectively plan and support informal waste sector actors. To formalize and deepen engagements between city authorities and the waste sector, Accra is convening multi-stakeholder platforms composed of migrant and non-migrant waste workers and community leaders.
To promote financial inclusion and sustainable waste management practices, the City of Accra is helping over 200 informal migrant waste workers to both register for national healthcare and enroll in formal waste cooperatives. This dual approach provides migrant waste workers with access to public and private hospitals and employment protection while helping fill gaps in the city’s waste management value chain, including sorting and recycling waste. The project is also constructing a childcare center to provide safe spaces for waste workers’ children away from the hazardous sites where their parents work.
These efforts will improve quality of life and inclusion for hundreds of informal waste workers and their families while promoting inclusive city planning, climate resilience, and effective waste management across Accra.
Elizabeth K. T. Sackey, Mayor of Accra, Ghana
The Global Cities Fund will allow us to better understand the experiences of Accra’s migrant communities, especially those displaced by the climate crisis, and mold our services around their needs.
Stay tuned for more impact updates at the end of Accra’s GCF grant term!