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Migration and Inclusive Cities: A Guide for Arab City Leaders

Migration, especially forced migration, is one of the defining phenomena of the 21st century. Millions of people across the global have fled armed conflicts, persecutions, natural disasters, and/or economic hardships in recent years. Whether they crossed national borders or stayed within the geographic limits of the country in which they originally resided, their ultimate movement has mostly been towards cities. It is impossible to stop the influx of migrants into urban areas in the foreseeable future. People will continue to move towards cities in search for livelihood opportunities, security, and a decent life. Unfortunately, due to lack of planning and resources, many end up in overcrowded and underserved settlements or in remote urban areas that lack basic infrastructure, social services and connectivity to labour markets. Denied access to formal job opportunities and social protection systems and excluded from the urban advantages that they are seeking in cities, migrants, particularly the most vulnerable ones, are often stigmatized as a problem rather than recognized for their energy and potential contribution to urban life.