The number of people forced from their homes is escalating more rapidly than ever before. Globally, more than 65 million people are displaced. Among them are 22.5 million refugees, two-thirds of whom live in urban areas. As the global refugee crisis continues, 100 Resilient Cities – Pioneered by The Rockefeller Foundation demonstrates solidarity with those who are forced to flee their homes.
The #WithRefugees Campaign, launched on World Refugee Day in June 2016 by the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR), signals global public support for refugees and urges international and local leaders to act with shared responsibility. By signing onto the #WithRefugees Coalition today, we join over 300 organizations – including our partners from Microsoft, International Rescue Committee (IRC), and Save the Children. It’s clear that innovative collaborations between city leaders and diverse institutions, organizations, and private sector innovators are critical to address issues facing urban refugees. As leaders prepare to come together in 2018 to pass a global compact to strengthen the international response to large-scale movements, we must push for action.
Cities in our Network are leading these efforts. Take, for example, the Greater Amman Municipality, which worked with 100RC and the IRC to develop resilience building initiatives that benefit both displaced and marginalized residents, such as entrepreneurship programs that support refugee-owned businesses in marginalized neighborhoods. Or New York City, which joined a coalition of global mayors to demand greater inclusion of cities in international decision-making processes on refugees.
By joining the #WithRefugees Coalition, we commit to help the UNHCR showcase practical ways of supporting refugees at the city level, primarily in areas like housing and land-use planning, local economic development, and social cohesion. This includes innovations featured in Global Migration: Resilient Cities at the Forefront, a menu of global practices and tools authored by Chief Resilience Officers from Athens, Amman, Los Angeles, Medellin, Paris, Montreal, Ramallah, and Thessaloniki.
So what can you do? Start by demonstrating your personal support for refugees by signing the #WithRefugees Petition, which asks leaders to ensure that:
- Every refugee child gets an education.
- Every refugee family has somewhere safe to live.
- Every refugee can work or learn new skills to make a positive contribution to their community.
Want to learn more about 100RC’s work in this space? Here are some useful resources:
- From Response to Resilience: coauthored with the IRC, this report describes the importance of working with city authorities to address urban displacement and build city resilience, drawing on partnerships with the Greater Amman Municipality and the Kampala Capital City Authority.
- Global Migration: Resilient Cities at the Forefront: framing migration as an opportunity to build resilience in cities, this 100RC report features 42 international good practices and tools from member cities and private sector innovators.
- The Global Compact for Refugees—Bringing mayors to the table: a Brookings policy brief expanding on the recommendations submitted by global mayors to the High Commissioner for Refugees for better inclusion of cities in the Global Compact of Refugees.
- Access additional information on 100RC’s work on migration in the World Economic Forum’s Migration Impact Cities report and the World Bank’s Art of Knowledge Exchange publication.