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The new COVID-19 pandemic has brought pressure to an already fragile context. Local authorities in the Mediterranean already dealing with hosting refugees find themselves at the forefront of a new sanitary crisis. The immediate need for crisis management and health coordination to contain the spread of the virus is coupled with the challenges of responding to already existing socio-economic needs of local and refugee communities. At the same time, quarantine measures and lockdowns in all Mediterranean states led to a disruption in production and supply chains in global, national and local economies. In this context, equally importantly as short-term, immediate measures to contain the virus is the need for long-term planning to meet the crisis’ economic and social impact, strengthen already financially weak communities and provide long-term solutions to unemployment, local development and financial inequality. A detailed review of the new challenges and priorities for Mediterranean host local authorities arising from the new COVID-19 crisis is reported in a CMI blog.
The CMI is leveraging on its unique position as a multi-partner platform and its access to Eastern Mediterranean municipalities through the well-established Host Municipalities Learning Network (HMLN). In order to contribute to experience sharing and peer-learning within the HMLN, the CMI is, in consultation with partners, offering peer-learning, experience sharing and technical training to implement private sector-driven solutions and create jobs and entrepreneurship opportunities for locals, refugees, and Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs) to recover the local economies in the aftermath of the COVID-19. As part of these efforts, CMI is organizing a webinar series: “Jobs, Entrepreneurship and Private Sector Engagement in Host Communities: adapting to the COVID-19 crisis” to take place between May and July 2020. CMI is also collecting experiences from representatives of Mediterranean local authorities hosting refugees on their responses to the COVID-19 crisis and their added challenges in the already fragile context of hosting refugees.
As part of CMI efforts to support local authorities, the solutions presented at this page testify the efforts of municipal staff and elected representatives who are working at the frontline of this crisis, in alignment with respective central governments’ measures. They spam from emergency and immediate measures such as organizational efforts and service delivery, to longer term planning such as recovery of the private sector.
We continue to welcome feedback and experiences from municipalities hosting refugees and displaced populations on their actions against the COVID-19 pandemic, to share it within the HMLN Network and our partners. If you are a municipal practitioner interested in sharing with us your experience, or if you want to share your specific needs for our needs assessment, please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
The experiences described below have been shared by members of the Host Municipalities Learning Network and have not been subjected to verification by the CMI or its partners. When available, policy documents or strategies have been attached as a complement to the summary of experience provided at this page.
Baghdad: One Community for all, All Communities for One
Greater Madaba: Supporting Families in Need
Greater Mafraq: Disinfecting Public Spaces and Distributing Bread to Those in Need.
New Balama: Developing a Comprehensive Response
Al Junaid: Tuned to Locals’ Needs
Greater Ramtha: Operation “Disinfection”
Khirbet Shar: Financial and Psychological Support
Khraybet el Jundi: Inclusion of Refugees
Bani Naim: Involving all Segments of the Community
Qalqilia: Hand in Hand with the Civil Society
Ramallah: Partnering with the Private Sector
Yatta: Logistical Mobilization
Mersin: Awareness Training for Staff and Establishment of a Crisis Center
Baghdad mayoralty established a Crisis management and coordination team at central level as sub local working groups across the Capital’s districts, mobilizing all local stakeholders such as representatives of the Health Ministry, Red Crescent, Civil Defense, Security Forces, Baghdad’s Governor office, Members of Parliament Offices’ Managers, Volunteer Groups as well as the Municipal Awareness Divisions”. Accordingly, activities were divided under 3 main pillars of action:
The municipality set to activate its risk management strategy by forming an emergency cell and organizing its activities under four main pillars of action:
Activities were organized under two main pillars of action:
The municipality formed an emergency cell to deal with Corona virus. Activities were organized under 4 main pillars of action:
The municipality formed an emergency committee under the leadership of Bani Naim municipality and membership of all governmental, civil and charity institutes in the town, in addition to security services. Specialized sub-committees were set as follows: 1) Media Committee 2) Health Committee 3) Social Committee 4) Awareness Committee 5) Security Committee. Activities were organized under 3 main pillars of action:
The city council established an emergency team, to set actions in motion. continued work via virtual meetings. Activities were organized under 4 main pillars of action:
Yatta municipality formed an emergency cell and mandated the Mayor and three municipal staff with management thereof and coordinating with competent authorities in the city. Activities were organized under 4 main pillars of action:
Mersin Metropolitan municipality established a 24h/24 Crisis Center to handle the crisis and pandemic plan was drafted and sent to the provincial health directorate. Many local stakeholders were brought on board such as the “Mersin Chamber of Drivers”, the “Municipal Traffic Police”, the “Municipal Department for Women and Family Services”, Accordingly, the activities were divided under 4 main pillars of action:
Read more: COVID-19 & Municipalities Hosting Refugees in Eastern Mediterranean countries: Challenges, Needs, and Actions