Climate Migration Press Release

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

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).

With a new funding commitment of $1,200,000, the IKEA Foundation expands the effort launched by the Mayors Migration Council and C40 Cities in partnership with Robert Bosch Stiftung.

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.

“The IKEA Foundation recognizes the importance of funding cities directly so that they can address the mounting challenges faced by urban migrants and refugees as a result of climate change,” said Per Heggenes, CEO of the IKEA Foundation. “We are excited to contribute to the Global Cities Fund for Migrants and Refugees to ensure cities most impacted by climate disasters can build resilience, opportunity, and social cohesion for all.”

The GCF was launched in 2021 by the Mayors Migration Council with investments from the Open Society Foundations, the Conrad N. Hilton Foundation, and the Robert Bosch Stiftung, in partnership with the C40 Cities Climate Leadership Group, UN Human Settlements Programme, the UN Migration Agency, the UN Refugee Agency, and United Cities and Local Governments, which provide technical support to city grantees.

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.

Today’s city grantees join Accra (Ghana), Arua (Uganda), Beira (Mozambique), Johannesburg (South Africa), and Monrovia (Liberia) in a growing pipeline of 21 city-led projects that will improve the lives of thousands of people around the world, bringing the initiative closer to its goal of funding 22 cities by the end of 2022

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. 

“While world leaders are at COP27 speaking about climate migration, mayors are building evidence of what to actually do about it,” said Vittoria Zanuso, Executive Director of the Mayors Migration Council. “We call on more donors to join the Global Cities Fund for Migrants and Refugees to keep making a tangible difference in the lives of people affected by the climate crisis, while keeping the world on track to meet global commitments.”

To learn more and become a partner, contact

Visit and follow #GlobalCitiesFund on social media for more information. For general background and inquiries, visit   

For press inquiries, contact Jake Adler, Head of Communications at the Mayors Migration Council, at

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.”

Partner Quotes:

“The Global Cities Fund for Migrants and Refugees has proven that when the international community invests in cities, people are put at the center of climate adaptation initiatives to ensure a just and inclusive green transition. We welcome the IKEA Foundation to our growing movement.” —Ottilie Bälz, Senior Vice President, Robert Bosch Stiftung 

“Thanks to the Global Cities Fund for Migrants and Refugees, African cities are now leading the way in delivering inclusive climate action for and in partnership with migrants and refugees. At C40, we are proud to be part of this initiative, which will help cities welcome and support people displaced by climate impacts and we will keep working with our Mayors Migration Council’s partners to make sure that more climate finance is made directly accessible to cities, especially in the Global South.” —Mark Watts, Executive Director, C40 Cities


About the Global Cities Fund for Migrants and Refugees

The Global Cities Fund for Migrants and Refugees (GCF) is the Mayors Migration Council’s (MMC) response to the unmet needs of cities as they support migrants, refugees, and internally displaced people (IDPs) in the face of pressing challenges, from global pandemics to the climate crisis. 

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. The GCF is led by the MMC in partnership with five key Strategic Partners: the C40 Cities Climate Leadership Group (C40 Cities), UN Migration Agency (IOM), United Cities and Local Governments (UCLG), the United Nations Human Settlements Programme (UN-Habitat), and the UN Refugee Agency (UNHCR). 

Beginning in 2021 with a $1M seed investment to support five cities, in less than two years the GCF has become a more than $5M fund supported by four donors with a pipeline of 21 city grantees. These cities directly support thousands of migrants, refugees, and marginalized residents across two thematic chapters: Inclusive Climate Action and Inclusive Pandemic Response. With the support of our Strategic Partners and our key donors — the Conrad N. Hilton Foundation, the IKEA Foundation, Open Society Foundations, and the Robert Bosch Stiftung — the GCF is well on track to meet its goal to drive international funding to at least 22 cities by the end of 2022

A Paris Peace Forum 2022 Scale Up Project and a Fast Company 2022 World Changing Idea, the GCF has created a marketplace of investment-ready, city-led solutions for migrants and refugees with the potential to shift humanitarian and development responses to those best placed to deliver them: cities.

To learn more, visit the GCF website.

About the C40 Cities-Mayors Migration Council Global Mayors Task Force on Climate and Migration (C40-MMC Task Force)

The C40 Cities (C40) and the Mayors Migration Council (MMC) Global Mayors Task Force on Climate and Migration is a mayor-led initiative to raise awareness and accelerate global responses around the urban dimension of climate and migration.

The C40-MMC Task Force released a mayor-led Action Agenda on Climate and Migration at the United Nations Climate Conference (COP26) in November 2021 in dialogue with national and global leaders. The C40-MMC Task Force is co-led by Mayor Islam of Dhaka North, Bangladesh and Mayor Aki-Sawyerr of Freetown, Sierra Leone and includes as members the Mayors of Amman, Jordan; Barcelona, Spain; Bristol, United Kingdom; Houston, United States; London, United Kingdom; Los Angeles, United States; Milan, Italy; and São Paulo, Brazil.

For more information on the C40-MMC Task Force visit our webpage or contact Giovanni Pagani, Senior Manager for Climate Migration, C40 Cities Climate Leadership Group,

About the Mayors Migration Council

The Mayors Migration Council (MMC) is a mayor-led coalition that accelerates ambitious global action on migration and displacement. With most of the world’s migrants and displaced people living in cities, our mission is to use the power of city diplomacy and practice to create a world where urban migrants, displaced people, and receiving communities can thrive.

To fulfill our vision, we help mayors and the cities they lead: i) influence policy decisions at the national and international level; ii) secure financial and technical resources to implement local solutions; iii) advance global action on emerging policy frontiers; iv) raise awareness among global audiences; v) generate and share knowledge grounded in local experiences; vi) 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, Montréal, 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 Conrad N. Hilton Foundation, the IKEA Foundation, the Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation, and the Robert Bosch Stiftung, in addition to other project-based donors.

To learn more, please visit our website and Climate Migration Resource Hub or follow us on Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn.

About the C40 Cities Climate Leadership Group

C40 is a network of nearly 100 mayors of the world’s leading cities who are working to deliver the urgent action needed right now to confront the climate crisis and create a future where everyone, everywhere can thrive. Mayors of C40 cities are committed to using a science-based and people-focused approach to help the world limit global heating to 1.5°C and build healthy, equitable and resilient communities. Through a Global Green New Deal, mayors are working alongside a broad coalition of representatives from labour, business, the youth climate movement and civil society to go further and faster than ever before. 

The current Chair of C40 is Mayor of London Sadiq Khan; and three-term Mayor of New York City Michael R. Bloomberg serves as President of the Board. C40’s work is made possible by our three strategic funders: Bloomberg Philanthropies, Children’s Investment Fund Foundation (CIFF), and Realdania.

To learn more about the work of C40 and our cities, please visit our website, or follow us on Twitter, Instagram, Facebook and LinkedIn.

About the IKEA Foundation

The IKEA Foundation is a strategic philanthropy that focuses its grant making efforts on tackling the two biggest threats to children’s futures: poverty and climate change. It currently grants more than €200 million per year to help improve family incomes and protect the planet from climate change. Since 2009, the IKEA Foundation has granted more than €1.5 billion to create a better future for children and their families. In 2021 the Foundation decided to make an additional €1 billion available to accelerate the reduction of Greenhouse Gas emissions over the next 5 years.

Learn more at: or by following us on LinkedIn or Twitter.

About the Robert Bosch Stiftung GmbH

The Robert Bosch Stiftung GmbH is one of Europe’s largest foundations associated with a private company. It works in the areas of health, education, and global issues. With its charitable activities, it contributes to the development of viable solutions to social challenges. For this purpose, the Foundation implements its own projects, enters into alliances with partners, and supports third-party initiatives. Since it was established in 1964, the Robert Bosch Stiftung has invested more than 2 billion euros in charitable work.

For further information, please visit the website.


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