In 2023, the City of Guayaquil, Ecuador, 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 Guayaquil is building a center for inclusion in its busiest transit center to welcome new arrivals and provide coordinated services such as legal assistance and psychological support to migrants, refugees, and Ecuadorian returnees coming into the city, including children and adolescents.
Guayaquil is home to Ecuador’s second largest population of Venezuelan migrants and refugees, who number more than 500,000 across the country. Migrant communities in Guayaquil, especially children and adolescents, often lack access to educational and health services, experience food insecurity, and live in unsafe housing conditions.
Simultaneously, there is a gap in public and non-governmental service provision i focused on the unique needs of refugee and migrant children and caregivers, and existing service-providers face coordination challenges.
Through its GCF project, the City of Guayaquil is building a center for inclusion in its busiest transit center to welcome new arrivals and provide coordinated services such as legal assistance and psychological support to migrants, refugees, and Ecuadorian returnees coming into the city, including children and adolescents.
The city’s Terrestrial Terminal is one of the first points of arrival and access to services for migrant communities. In partnership with an international NGO, COOPI, Guayaquil is refurbishing a physical space in the terminal to establish an Integrated Municipal Center where migrants and refugees will be able to access a comprehensive suite of support services. Direct services provided by the center will include medical care, legal counseling, and psychosocial assistance. The center will also make referrals to partner organizations for individuals experiencing gender-based violence, substance use, and mental health challenges. Guayaquil will furnish the center with an age- and gender-responsive childcare space that promotes healthy social and cognitive development.
In addition, the Integrated Municipal Center will develop a management model to coordinate service provision for migrants and refugees across governmental and non-governmental entities.
Aquiles Álvarez, Mayor of Guayaquil, Ecuador
Migrants, refugees, and Ecuadorian returnees arriving in Guayaquil will benefit immensely from the [GCF].
Stay tuned for more impact updates at the end of Guayaquil’s GCF grant term!