14 January 2021 - UN-Habitat is partnering with the Swiss State Secretariat for Economic Affairs (SECO) to improve access to reliable services and socio-economic opportunities for migrants and displaced populations in urban settlements. The three-year programme “Urban Planning and Infrastructure in Migration Contexts” with a budget of USD 3.65 million (CHF 3.25 million), funded by the Swiss Government, was launched at the start of this year. It will support municipalities hosting displaced populations in Myanmar, Jordan, Egypt and Cameroon.

The project will focus activities on developing a common understanding of the issues affecting neighbourhoods, mapping provision and gaps in public infrastructure services in coordination with humanitarian interventions. The design of urban profiles for the selected vulnerable neighbourhoods enables the development of a shared visions and prioritised interventions that improve living conditions to be agreed upon and potentially funded.

In the selected cities, the programme will foster multi-sectoral collaboration between UN-Habitat, national and local governments, humanitarian actors, development banks and local communities including displaced populations. The scope of work will also ensure significant contributions to the Sustainable Development Goals by supporting the selected cities and human settlements to become increasingly inclusive, safe, resilient and sustainable. 

The implementation of the “Urban Planning and Infrastructure in Migration Contexts” programme will go beyond the pure planning stage by supporting municipalities to mainstream migration challenges into spatial urban analytics and urban infrastructure investment planning. The development of financing strategies will support a successful linkage to financing schemes and an uptake into concrete implementation of selected investments and interventions.

Knowledge sharing will also be a cornerstone of this programme throughout its four phases. Spatial data collection and management is a key cross cutting component and will be delivered through capacity sharing sessions with municipalities as well as city-to-city knowledge exchanges and engagement at major regional and thematic forums.

This partnership with SECO and mobilisation of the programme itself, which will help to bolster the resilience of local authorities to support displaced populations.

“This partnership with SECO affirms much needed support for infrastructure investments that target a whole-of-society approach,” said UN-Habitat’s Executive Director Maimunah Mohd Sharif.

“The project will include the voices of displaced people in neighbourhood planning, which is key to ensure communities in need are targeted while livelihood opportunities and standards of living are improved for all urban dwellers.”