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Fighting against the Covid-19 crisis

Global Cities Fund for Inclusive Response

  • Mayors migration Council - a sponsored project of Rockefeller philanthropy advisors
  • International
  • 2021
  • Scale-up project

Project overview

The Global Cities Fund (GCF) is the Mayors Migration Council’s (MMC) response to the unmet needs of cities as they support migrants, refugees, and internally displaced people. By directly funding cities to implement inclusive response and recovery programs of their own design, the GCF builds precedents of fiscal feasibility in city governments often disregarded by donors. The GCF is led by the MMC in partnership with C40 Cities, the UN Migration Agency, United Cities and Local Governments, the UN Human Settlements Programme, and the UN Refugee Agency.

The GCF’s inaugural chapter, the Global Cities Fund for Inclusive Pandemic Response, currently supports nine city grantees addressing the needs of migrant and displaced communities affected by Covid-19.A new chapter, the Global Cities Fund for Inclusive Climate Action, will help city governments respond to climate migration in partnership with affected communities.

Presentation of the organization

The Mayors Migration Council is a mayor-led organization that helps cities shape national and international action on migration and displacement. Its mission is to ensure that global responses to pressing challenges both reflect and address realities on the ground for the benefit of migrants, displaced persons, and the communities that receive them.

The MMC secures city access and representation in policy deliberations; elevates mayoral leadership on the global stage; and unlocks technical and financial resources for city governments to accelerate global action on migration and displacement through local solutions. The Leadership Board is composed of the mayors of Amman, Bristol, Freetown, Kampala, Los Angeles, Milan, Montréal, and Zürich.

How it works

The GCF’s main objective is to support city-led interventions while proving the broader fiscal feasibility and socio-economic benefits of resourcing city governments directly. The GCF:
  • Offers international donors a pipeline of vetted city-led proposals backed by strong mayoral leadership on migration and displacement issues.
  • Directly channels international resources to city governments, building precedents of fiscal feasibility while assuming financial oversight and mitigating risk.
  • Respects the agency, authority, and capacity of city governments and their local partners by supporting projects of cities’ owndesign.
  • Accelerates local efforts by providing city grantees with customized technical and advocacy support services, and by connecting them with city peers and international partners.
  • Elevates city leadership and actions to a global audience of national governments, humanitarian and development agencies, and financial institutions.
  • Serves as a flexible, simple, and predictable funding mechanism with low overhead and high efficiency.


  • January 2021: 5 intramural citygrantees helping over 5,000 people;
  • January 2022: 4 additional city grantees funded for Inclusive Pandemic Response and the announcement of a new chapter, theGCF for Inclusive Climate Action.
This work is made possible by contributions from the Conrad N. Hilton Foundation, the Open Society Foundations, the Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation, and the Robert Bosch Stiftung.

2022 Outlook

22 cities by 2022

The initiative aims to provide at least 22 cities with financial support by the end of 2022. Given the demand from cities, the GCF will continue to expand as a permanent and predictable funding mechanism, adding chapters that meet specific needs of migrant and displaced communities and the cities they call home.

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