In 2021, Mexico City, Mexico, 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, Mexico City provided cash assistance to 450 migrants, refugees and IDPs affected by the Covid-19
pandemic while connecting over 700 people total to support services related to employability, obtaining personal identification, and access to health care.
The second-largest city in the Western Hemisphere, Mexico City is home to nearly one million foreign-born individuals. With fifty percent of its residents working in the informal economy, the Government of Mexico City estimates that half a million informal jobs were lost due to the impacts of Covid-19 and infection prevention measures. The economic downturn has disproportionately affected migrants, refugees, returnees, and internally displaced persons who were already struggling to make ends meet in the city.
Recognizing displaced people’s desperate need for a lifeline during the pandemic, Mexico City used the GCF grant to expand its municipal income protection program and provide direct cash assistance to 492 migrants, refugees, returnees and IDPs while connecting them to national and local social services aimed at helping them settle within the city.
The city’s project brought together previously siloed local government agencies to deploy a holistic response to the main challenges facing migrants during Covid-19. This included coupling direct cash assistance with services related to employability, obtaining personal identification, and access to health care.
The city’s secretariats of Labor and Employment (STyFE), Social Inclusion and Welfare (SIBISO), and Health (SEDESA) worked together to identify 750 potential clients, of whom 720 qualified for program support. Once enrolled in the program, these clients received access to government services from relevant collaborating government secretariats, with 492 clients qualifying for 5,600 pesos [US$268] in direct cash assistance to cover their basic needs.
The project’s suite of referral services included employability support, housing and shelter assistance, health care and free medicine, and help acquiring identification documents.
Claudia Sheinbaum Pardo, Former Mayor of Mexico City, Mexico
With support from the MMC, Mexico City is expanding financial assistance to those who have lost their income due to the impact of Covid-19 in the informal economy, the lifeblood of our city.
As a result of the Inclusive Income Protection Program, 492 migrants, refugees, and IDPs who lost their jobs during the Covid-19 pandemic received direct cash assistance to help cover their basic needs. To date, the project has improved access to essential city services for over 720 migrants, helping ensure their socioeconomic inclusion and well-being during the pandemic and beyond.
Mexico City’s project also strengthened local service provision for migrants, refugees, and IDPs, a previously underserved community. By bringing together three city secretariats for the first time, the project institutionalized new platforms for local government collaboration that will help the city better support migrants in the future.
Mexico City plans to sustain and institutionalize this program to support the integration of migrants, refugees and IDPs. The city government is continuing the institutional cooperation initiated among the three secretariats to include other public and private entities; deliver training to city government personnel on human mobility, migrants’ rights and legal frameworks; and support the development of a digital client database for government institutions to provide effective support and follow up while ensuring privacy and data protection.
Ariannys, Venezuelan Project Client
It is not easy for migrants to start from scratch in a new place. But thanks to this project, I was made aware of employment opportunities and [health] services that I did not know about before.
The Global Cities Fund for Inclusive Pandemic Response Launches with $1M for Five Cities Delivering Solutions To Urgent Needs of Migrants and Displaced
January 7, 2021