In 2022, the City of Johannesburg, South Africa 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 Johannesburg is strengthening its food security, climate resilience, and socioeconomic inclusion by providing housing, access to farm plots, and climate-adaptive urban agriculture training to 500 migrants and internally displaced people.
South Africa is home to an estimated three million migrants, many of whom fled conflict and climate disasters elsewhere in the country and continent to settle in urban centers like Johannesburg, which is expected to receive over one million additional newcomers by 2050. For migrants and internally displaced people in Johannesburg, a lack of documentation and discrimination pose barriers to socioeconomic inclusion. Many are also unhoused or live in unsafe conditions, struggle to access healthcare and other basic services, and face daily xenophobia.
Simultaneously, as South Africa’s fastest growing and most densely populated city, Johannesburg faces serious risks from climate change. Flash flooding, extreme heat, land degradation, and poor air quality have damaged infrastructure and affected public health throughout the city. Johannesburg’s migrant communities and other marginalized residents, living in precarious conditions, are disproportionately vulnerable to climate displacement and disasters.
Through the GCF grant, the City of Johannesburg is strengthening food security, climate resilience, and socioeconomic inclusion by providing housing, access to farm plots, and climate-adaptive urban agriculture training to 500 migrants and internally displaced people.
The Grow Joburg project is improving city-run shelters to provide better living conditions for 500 migrants and IDPs. In addition, Grow Joburg is offering these residents training in climate-adaptive urban agriculture methods, including cultivating food gardens on shelter rooftops. The city is providing migrant-led organizations and their clients with access to urban farm plots where they can grow and sell produce.
The city is implementing the Grow Joburg project in close partnership with migrant led organizations, including the African Women Migrants’ Voices network. Not only will this project connect migrants and internally displaced people in Johannesburg to green income-generating opportunities, but it will also strengthen local food systems and add green space to the city’s hardscapes.
Mpho Phalatse, Former Mayor of Johannesburg
The GCF is making it possible for our city to expand our existing urban agriculture programs, provide new income generation opportunities, and enhance food security for our marginalized communities
Stay tuned for impact updates at the end of Johannesburg’s GCF grant term!