Global Cities Fund for Migrants and Refugees
In just three years, the GCF has turned from a $1 million seed investment to support five cities in the face of Covid-19, to a $8 million fund with a pipeline of 28 city grantees delivering solutions on health, economic inclusion, climate migration, early childhood development, and more.
From entrepreneurship in Freetown to housing in Medellín, this report shows how cities are meeting the urgent needs of their migrant and displaced communities, while building a more sustainable future for all.
The Mayors Migration Council created the Global Cities Fund for Migrants and Refugees (GCF) in 2021 to address a fundamental gap in how we support migrant and displaced communities: while most migrants and refugees live in cities, city governments do not have enough access to international resources to support these communities at the level of their ambition. The overwhelming majority of resources tied to migration and displacement goes to international NGOs or central governments, missing opportunities to leverage the local knowledge, long-term plans, and willingness of cities and the mayors who lead them.
In just three years, the GCF has turned from a USD 1 million initiative supporting five cities into a USD 8 million fund, helping 28 cities help thousands of people through lasting solutions on health, economic inclusion, climate migration, early childhood development, and more. Ninety percent of the cities who have completed their grant term have continued or expanded their projects by using our seed funding to independently secure additional international investments or by committing their own resources, doubling our original investment in their work. From entrepreneurship in Freetown to housing in Medellín, this report shows how our cities are both meeting the urgent needs of migrant and displaced communities while laying the foundation for a more inclusive future.
The Global Cities Fund Impact
28Cities directly supported by the fund
90%City graduates unlocked additional resources to continue their projects independently
$31MUnlocked for city-lead solutions.
Samer Saliba, Director of City Practice
The stories and testimonials in this report shine a light on the potential of all city governments to help migrants and displaced people build a dignified life in the cities they call home.
Now that we have set the precedent, we have an obligation to build on it. The need is greater than ever: climate change is pushing migrants to cities by the millions; global conflicts are driving unprecedented urban displacement; anti-immigration policies are on the rise; and cities are growing while their access to international resources is not. While full reform of the international humanitarian and development system will take time, we are making the case for the world changing impact of directly investing in cities today. The stories and testimonials in this report not only show how far we’ve come; they also shine a light on the potential of all city governments to help tens of millions of migrants and displaced people build a dignified life in the cities they call home.
To drive momentum and transformative change, we are now setting a vision for the Global Cities Fund for Migrants and Refugees to reach USD 50 million –starting with USD 25 million by 2025. This will allow us to scale the GCF to support more cities and deepen its impact through larger multi-year grants and more predictable funding rounds, bring GCF support to every region of the world, generate and share evidence from city actions, and deliver the Global Compacts at the local level. We are grateful to our partners and donors whose early support of the GCF made it a success. We are inspired by our cities and their migrant and refugee partners who are showing that a new way of working is possible. And we hope you will join us to help more cities help more people.