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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?
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
Towards communities of practice: existing initiatives and follow-up to support host communities