The Center for Mediterranean Integration (CMI) just launched a private Facebook group to offer a space for municipalities hosting refugees to exchange and learn from each other’s experiences, challenges and best practices in order to ensure the common welfare of refugees and host communities.
The “Host Municipalities Network” Facebook group is open to municipalities hosting refugees from the Middle East, Turkey, North Africa and Europe. Representatives of development institutions and interested CMI partners are also welcomed to take part. As the Facebook group is private, members can join only by invitation and all discussions are private. Discussions can be conducted in either Arabic or English.
Instructions for joining the group:
- Please send CMI the email address you use on Facebook or your exact name as it appears on your Facebook account so that CMI can add you to the group.
- Once added, you will receive an invitation either by email (which might end up in your spam folder) or a notification on Facebook.
- In both cases, don’t forget to click on “accept the invitation” to become a member of the group.
Due to the protracted conflict in Syria, refugees are turning into a serious challenge for the Mediterranean region with a significant spillover to Europe. Neighboring Turkey, Lebanon and Jordan, have absorbed the bulk of close to 5 million Syrian refugees since 2011, constituting approximately 86% of all Syrian refugees, compared to 8% hosted by the European Union.
The refugee crisis has not only evolved in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region in time of economic and political fragility, but it has as well rapidly hit Europe in a state of unpreparedness and economic uncertainty. Municipalities are at the forefront of it all.
In the MENA region, 86% of refugees live in cities which is reasonably higher than the 60% world average. This situation has forced municipalities and local authorities to assume key roles in managing the crisis by providing services and integrating refugees into their communities.
The Syrian refugee influx has placed huge demands on municipal services such as waste management and housing. Local governments have had to expand their traditional responsibilities to provide education, employment, aid relief and emergency shelter, health…