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Event organized by the Center for Mediterranean Integration (CMI), the World Bank Group, and support by other partners (IRC, GIZ, UCLG-MEWA).
Municipalities in the Mediterranean are at the forefront in providing assistance to migrants and refugees. While 60% of worldwide refugees live in cities, this figure amounts to 85% in the MENA region. Refugees share with the local communities, space, resources, employment and services, placing additional strain on local communities and overwhelmed public services. The urban nature of refugee influx poses a number of significant challenges to municipalities who had to mobilize extraordinary resources to respond to this unprecedented crisis, which often extends beyond local governments’ traditional responsibilities (education, employment, aid relief and emergency shelter, health, etc.). Conversely, lacking municipal service provision can generate tension and exacerbate the vulnerability of refugees and host communities while jeopardizing social cohesion.
After consulting with a dozen of key development and humanitarian organizations working directly with host local governments, it appeared that while evidence of successful local experiences in managing refugee influx and hosting is still thin, local governments facing similar challenges would benefit from exchanging on their successes and failures.
In this sense, this two-day workshop organized by the Center for Mediterranean Integration in collaboration with the World Bank Group aims at exchanging knowledge and good practices acquired by host communities and strengthening a coordination network among them.
This event will refrain from focusing exclusively on challenges, where discussions between participant experts and representatives will be framed around the Syrian refugee crisis as an opportunity for host communities to improve infrastructure, services and governance systems, and to enhance the response capacity and resilience of local communities.
In line with the Regional Refugee & Resilience Plan (3RP), this event will support local governments and authorities in managing the shock of refugee influx. The event will bring together technical staff and elected representatives from local governments, central government focal points for municipal affairs as well as local NGOs and community initiatives from the Mashreq and Turkey to share lessons learned and innovative practices and discuss concrete strategies.
The peer-to-peer learning is designed to strengthen the resilience capacities and service delivery systems of local governments and authorities by:
Official Opening session: Welcoming Addresses and Introductory Remarks
Host Communities at the Forefront of the Refugee Crisis – How to increase Resilience?
Introduction to Thematic Session I: Intergovernmental frameworks and institutions of cooperation to improve local resilience to the refugee crisis
Working Group I.1: Local governments at the forefront of strengthening local resilience: planning and implementing resilience policies at the local level
Working Group I.2: Central and local government collaborations to improve services to refugees and migrants
Working Group I.3: Developing sustainable financing for the provision of municipal services to refugees and citizens
Introduction to Thematic Session II: Service Delivery and Preparedness of Local Governments, including in collaboration with non-governmental actors
Working Group II.1: Innovations for mid-term housing and shelter solutions for refugees
Working Group II.2: Innovative Collaborations between local governments, NGOs/CBOs and the private sector for services to citizens and refugees: leveraging the capabilities and resources of non-governmental actors
Working Group II.3: Innovative solutions for improved waste management for citizens and refugees
Introduction to Thematic Session III: Local Economic Development and Labor Market Integration
Working Group III.1. Developing shared growth in areas affected by the refugee crisis: from national to local actions
Working Group III.2. Increasing the absorption capacity of the host labor market and refugees’ access and capacities to enter it
Working Group III.3: Developing the agricultural sector and jobs in rural communities affected by the Syrian refugee crisis
Presentation: Bruno Minjauw, Lebanon Resilience & Liaison Officer, Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO)
Introduction to Thematic Session IV: Building and strengthening social cohesion between refugees and host communities
Working Group IV.1. Innovative examples on strengthening social cohesion: multi-service centers for vulnerable populations and collaborations between NGOs and municipalities
Working Group IV.2. Coping with extreme refugee influx: developing best practices for building and maintaining peaceful co-existence
Working Group IV.3. Non-violent approaches to conflict resolution in host communities: international experiences in conflict mediation
Towards communities of practice: existing initiatives and follow-up to support host communities