100RC, Athens, IRC & CROs from 7 Countries Launch Network Exchange on Cities and Migration Crisis

100RC Network Exchange to Focus on Needs and Opportunities for Cities Facing Refugee and Migration Issues

100 Resilient Cities –Pioneered by The Rockefeller Foundation is a $164M (USD) Global
Effort Dedicated to Building Resilience in Cities

Exchange Will Galvanize Leading Organizations, Cities, and Experts – Including Co-organizer the International Rescue Committee – to Innovate Ideas and Solutions on Migration and Refugee Issues

Athens, Greece – Today, in partnership with the City of Athens, 100 Resilient Cities – Pioneered by The Rockefeller Foundation (100RC) and Chief Resilience Officers (CRO) from eight of its member cities formally launched the “Athens Network Exchange: Cities and the Global Migration Crisis.” The three-day intensive workshop will bring together eight cities from the 100RC Network, members of the 100RC Platform of Partners, and leading experts and thinkers on refugee and migration issues. Among the 100RC partners involved in this event include the International Rescue Committee (IRC) – a co-organizer of the event, MasterCard, and ESRI, aimed at promoting cross-sectoral collaboration on issues related to migration.

Participating cities include: Amman, Jordan; Athens, Greece; Los Angeles, California (USA); Medellin, Colombia Paris, France; Montreal, Canada; Ramallah, Palestine; and Thessaloniki, Greece. Each city will be represented by their CRO – an innovative position in city government funded by 100RC. The CRO acts as the city's point person for resilience building, leading the development of a citywide Resilience Strategy. Each CRO will be accompanied by a city official with expertise in immigration, refugee issues, resettlement, or social integration.

"Athens is eager to hear the perspectives and the experiences of the seven cities that are participating in the Exchange Network. The recent refugee crisis has shown us more than ever that cities are the front-runners as well as best poised to create new types of synergies and offer solutions promoting the values of peaceful coexistence, solidarity, and mutual respect. The need for the cities to promote social integration and clever, long-term policies that advance their resilience is at the forefront of this global conversation," said Giorgos Kaminis, Mayor of Athens.

“Cities are currently hosting over 60% of the world’s refugees, but are in many cases, cities are left to fend for themselves by national and international governments,” said Michael Berkowitz, President of 100 Resilient Cities. “This event aims to bring together the world’s foremost experts on a wide range of subjects related to migration, in order to give cities globally the information and tools they need to help the estimated 19.5 million refugees living within their borders. In short, helping cities address this crisis is the best way to reduce the pain and suffering of some of the world’s most vulnerable populations.” 

“Cities and their residents play a tremendous role in helping refugees and making them feel welcome,” said Jane Waite, Deputy Country Director for IRC Greece. “The IRC is pleased to be working with forward-thinking cities such as Athens and Thessaloniki as we look for a suitable and sustainable way to address the needs of refugees through clear integration strategies, while at the same time building resilience in the cities they hope to call home.”

“The City of Athens is proud to host this event, to start shifting mindsets in cities around the globe that crisis can provide an ability to build long-term resilience,” said Eleni Myrivili, Chief Resilience Officer for the City of Athens.

100RC Partners IRC, MasterCard, and ESRI will all leverage their specific expertise to help provide cities with best-in-class solutions to migration-related challenges, while exploring new avenues for innovations in the field. IRC will bring long-standing expertise in refugee crisis management, including significant efforts in Greece in 2015 and 2016; MasterCard has launched innovative approaches to aid Syrian refugees through financial tools and services; and ESRI is a global leader in mapping technology.

In addition to 100RC Platform Partners, other experts with significant experience in the refugee and migration field joining are the International Organization for Migration, Welcoming America, The Brookings Institution, Mercy Corps, and United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees.

Following this convening, and utilizing the lessons learned, 100RC will create a guiding document for cities aiming to learn from the representatives and partners who were present at the Athens Network Exchange.  

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About 100 Resilient Cities—Pioneered by The Rockefeller Foundation
100 Resilient Cities - Pioneered by The Rockefeller Foundation (100RC) helps cities around the world become more resilient to social, economic, and physical challenges that are a growing part of the 21st century. 100RC provides this assistance through: funding for a Chief Resilience Officer in each of our cities who will lead the resilience efforts; resources for drafting a resilience strategy; access to private sector, public sector, academic, and NGO resilience tools; and membership in a global network of peer cities to share best practices and challenges. For more information, visit: www.100ResilientCities.org.

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