Taking in refugees is a humanitarian emergency: local governments are mobilizing to respond

The world is facing a serious humanitarian crisis, caused by the influx of hundreds of thousands of refugees from crisis areas in the Middle East, Africa and Eastern Europe. This crisis directly concerns the European Union, all governments and citizens, as well as local governments.

United Cities and Local Governments (UCLG) and its sections, in particular those of Europe, Africa and the Middle East, welcome the commitment of mayors and their associations who are volunteering to organize the reception of refugees within their municipalities. 

The emergency measures implemented at town, city and municipal levels, such as access to food, healthcare, housing and sanitation, all contribute to help to cope with the human tragedy that constitutes the arrival of huge numbers of refugees and people in need. These actions contribute to the general spirit of solidarity called for by this exceptional situation.

The experience accumulated by towns and cities through their reception policies can complement humanitarian measures; however, these towns and cities also require support and coordination with States, the European Union and international institutions.

UCLG supports these initiatives which, through their actions, mark their commitment to the values of solidarity and respect for basic human rights, which are at the heart of our global movement.

UCLG and its sections, in particular the Council of European Municipalities and Regions, calls on international institutions, the European Union and its Member States to take into account the aid that local governments are providing in the management of this crisis, and calls for the mobilization of existing specific assistance funds, making these funds accessible to those municipalities most directly affected by the mass arrival of asylum seekers in their territories, as well as those wishing to contribute to the reception of refugees.

Please click here to read the Declaration of the European section

In order to give more weight to these initiatives, to pool resources and to make them known to all, UCLG and its regional sections are at the disposal of their members to facilitate exchanges and dialogue, in order to ensure that the urgent and effective steps to receive refugees in our towns, cities and territories are taken, as well as to consult with European and international institutions.

Visit the following links to find out more info published by the media related to the initiatives implemented by the local governments: