- UN-Habitat Regional Office of Arab States
- Ford Foundation
• Mass migration and propelling rapid urbanization are two key and intrinsically related facets of the 21st century. People have been increasingly on the move into cities, following new economic opportunities voluntarily or escaping forcibly from mounting political conflicts or unprecedented natural disasters. Associated with this development is the overwhelming demand for affordable urban housing, adequate jobs, quality health care, education services, social protection and other basic infrastructure and services in cities.
• In that context, city leaders have been assuming growing responsibilities of including increasingly diverse newcomers into the urban fabric of their cities and enhancing their accessibility to services and opportunities. However, with already strained resources and limited capacities, local authorities’ response has been mainly precarious, leaving migrants as well as their local residents, in conditions of exclusion and vulnerability.
• Migration, when adequately managed through inclusive urban planning and governance at the local level, could be turned into an opportunity to contribute to the socio-economic dynamism and sustainable development of host cities. As the New Urban Agenda states, city leaders have to be equipped with capacity development and tools to design, plan and manage inclusive cities.
UN-Habitat Regional Office of Arab States (ROAS) developed this Guide - part of UN-Habitat City Leaders Guide series - to assist Arab city leaders in addressing the multiple challenges associated with the massive flow of migrants from and into the cities of the Arab region. It mainly targets Arab city leaders with the aim of supporting them in:
1. responding to migration related issues in their cities in an inclusive way;
2. leveraging the capacities and know-how from a wide range of actors, including migrants and host communities, to address crucial urban development needs.