LOCALIZING THE GLOBAL COMPACTS
Second Report on Local Action for Migrants and Refugees
This report represents the political commitment and concrete actions local and regional governments are taking to meet the needs of refugees and migrants in 2023. Collected through the Call to Local Action for Migrants and Refugees, these actions contribute to the UN Global Compact on Refugees and Global Compact for Migration and help keep the world on track to meet the Sustainable Development Goals.
In the past year, UN leaders have sounded the alarm of a humanitarian system on the verge of collapse and called for a global rescue plan for sustainable development. Crises are multiplying — from new or continuing conflicts to climate chaos to worsening inequalities. Meanwhile, solutions go unfunded.
This year, the world was supposed to celebrate progress made on refugee protection and solutions since the adoption of the landmark UN Global Compact on Refugees (GCR) in 2018. Instead, more than one of every 73 people on Earth is forcibly displaced — a historic high of 114 million people. In just the past 12 months, UNHCR declared a record 46 emergencies across 32 countries. 70% of forcibly displaced people look to cities for safety and opportunity.
Filippo Grandi, High Commissioner for Refugees, UN Refugee Agency (UNHCR)
From implementing housing projects to sheltering those displaced and ensuring their access to social services, cities are creating inclusive and supportive environments for for refugees and IDPs.
Local and regional governments are stepping up in response. Facing multiple crises and limited budgets, local and regional governments remain committed to the UN’s global goals and to taking concrete actions for refugees and migrants in their cities.
“Cities are engines of economic growth and innovation that hold the key to achieving the 2030 Agenda and the Sustainable Development Goals. They are also on the frontlines of today’s complex challenges, from the climate crisis to growing inequalities and political polarization. But local authorities are struggling with limited support and resources,” said UN Secretary-General António Guterres.
This report represents the political commitment and concrete actions local and regional governments are taking to meet the needs of refugees and migrants in 2023. Collected through the Call to Local Action for Migrants and Refugees, these actions contribute to the UN Global Compact on Refugees (GCR) and Global Compact for Migration (GCM) and help keep the world on track to meet the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). In 2022, this partnership delivered 70 actions from local governments to the first-ever UN International Migration Review Forum.
Call to Local Action By the Numbers
$80Mto financing pledges to support local governments
Emilia Saiz, Secretary General UCLG
65% of SDG targets cannot be met without involving local and regional governments. The CTA is the pathway for cities and regions to localize the SDGs for migrants and refugees.
Now, the Call to Local Action for Migrants and Refugees is delivering more than 100 local pledges for refugee inclusion and protection to the 2023 UN Global Refugee Forum. These actions make a tangible difference to the lives of migrants and refugees and help the world rescue our global humanitarian and development goals.
New commitments taken by local governments include:
- Support for refugee reception and inclusion in Gaziantep (Türkiye), Bucharest (Romania), Rennes (France), and more.
- Support for refugee jobs and livelihoods in Kampala (Uganda), Barranquilla (Colombia), Montréal (Canada), and more.
- Support for refugee education and early childhood development in Milan (Italy), Guayaquil (Ecuador), Ramallah (Palestine), and more.
- Support for climate action in refugee hosting areas in Amman (Jordan), Nyamagabe (Rwanda), and Nairobi (Kenya), and more.
- Support for countering discrimination and xenophobia in Nilüfer (Türkiye), Dallas (US), Terrassa (Spain), and more.
A Global Coalition: For Mayors, By Mayors
Our coalition of cities are taking action to support their migrant and displaced communities.
- San Antonio
Amy Pope Director General UN Migration Agency
I’m committed to building a UN Migration Agency that works with local governments to serve displaced people. From addressing climate migration to job opportunities, cities are critical partners.
Despite the political will of local governments, municipal access to finance is a major barrier to local action for migrants and refugees, particularly in low- and middle-income countries where 90 percent of forcibly displaced people live. In 2022, only 1.2% of total international humanitarian assistance was given to local and national actors, including cities — the target was 25%.
“To address the critical shortfall in funding for local action and model behavior for others to follow, the Mayors Migration Council is pledging to bring the Global Cities Fund for Migrants and Refugees to $50 million – starting with $25 million by 2025. Only through direct funding of city-led projects can we meet the scale of need for urban migrants and refugees to thrive,” said Vittoria Zanuso Executive Director Mayors Migration Council
As the world reels from the socioeconomic shocks of the pandemic, refugee crises across the world, and the worsening climate breakdown, the pledges delivered in this report represent an opportunity for the intentional community to deliver global impact by investing in local action, an opportunity that was underrepresented at the first Global Refugee Forum in 2019. As this report shows, local and regional governments are already committing their ideas, resources, and political power to create inclusive societies where refugees and migrants can thrive. Matching these local commitments with global resources will not only bring us back from the brink, but push us towards a more equitable, vibrant, and inclusive world.
Join us in supporting the Call to Local Action for Migrants and Refugees. Together, we can support city leaders to support migrants and refugees and turn local action into global impact.