The Global Cities Fund for Migrants and Refugees Awards Monrovia for Nature-Based Solutions to Reduce Climate Displacement in Monrovia, Liberia

Monrovia joins four other African cities to implement projects that address the needs of migrants and people affected by the climate crisis
New York City, May 18, 2022 – Monrovia was selected as a recipient of the Global Cities Fund for Migrants and Refugees (GCF), an initiative to respond to the unmet needs of cities as they support migrants, refugees, and internally displaced people (IDPs).

Launched in 2021 at the United Nations Climate Change Conference (COP26) by the Mayors Migration Council (MMC) and C40 Cities Climate Leadership Group (C40 Cities) in partnership with the Robert Bosch Stiftung (RBSG), the Inclusive Climate Action (ICA) chapter of the GCF drives financial and technical resources to African cities addressing the needs of migrants and displaced people affected by the climate crisis.

Monrovia will use the funds to mitigate flooding and coastal erosion by planting mangrove trees, creating green spaces around the city and offering green job training opportunities to migrants and internally displaced youth in the process.

The World Bank estimates that as many as 85 million sub-Saharan Africans could migrate due to the climate crisis by 2050, all within one of the world’s fastest urbanizing regions. African mayors are taking bold action locally and internationally, including through the C40-MMC Global Mayors Task Force on Climate and Migration, to protect their residents from heat, flooding, or landslides, and to welcome people displaced by climate impacts. But they face an urban finance gap that limits their ability to do so at scale, as the recent report Municipal Finance for Migrants and Refugees: the State of Play shows. This is where the GCF comes into play.
Monrovia is home to the largest migrant and internally displaced community in Liberia, and rainfall in the city amounts to 5 meters per year, making it the wettest capital in the world. In the last ten years, more than 100,000 residents have been displaced by accelerated coastal erosion and flooding due the climate crisis. West Point, one of the city’s largest slums, has regressed approximately 30 meters in a decade, resulting in the destruction of over 670 homes.
“The climate crisis poses enormous risks for Monrovians, and especially our migrant and internally displaced residents, who often live in neighborhoods prone to flooding due to accelerated coastal erosion,” said Jefferson T. Koijee, Mayor of Monrovia, Liberia. “The Global Cities Fund for Migrants and Refugees will empower us to green our city, proactively mitigate climate vulnerabilities, and provide the requisite skills and competencies for our youngest citizens to compete in the labor market and contribute to sustainable economic development of Monrovia and Liberia at large.”
“Our five grantees show in practice what it means to put people at the center of climate action,” said Vittoria Zanuso, Executive Director of the Mayors Migration Council. “Collectively, they will improve the lives of thousands of migrants, displaced people, and marginalized residents affected by the climate crisis, while working with them as allies in the green transition – I have no doubt that these lighthouses will inspire replication in Africa and around the world.”

A Selection Committee of subject matter experts and practitioners reviewed submissions and selected Monrovia and other city grantees based on their anticipated impact, engagement of affected communities in designing or delivering the project, commitment from city leadership, and likelihood of the program’s institutionalization or replication, among other criteria.

The final cities include Accra (Ghana), Arua (Uganda), Beira (Mozambique), Johannesburg (South Africa), and Monrovia (Liberia).

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