Local Voices Towards Permanent Dialogue in the Mediterranean - Regional Programme Political Dialogue and regional Integration in the Southern Mediterranean
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In October 2021 KAS PolDiMED and the Mediterranean network of cities MedCities, organized a first seminar to launch a dialogue among local authorities in the Mediterranean aiming to reinforce their capacities to implement local sustainable development and position themselves as regionals actors with the ability to contribute to the current agendas. The event was organised in Tunis and gathered mayors and municipal councillors from five different Southern Mediterranean countries in order to discuss the needs and priorities of municipalities, with a regional perspective. The results of the first event pinpointed the crucial importance of establishing a permanent dialogue among Mediterranean Municipalities and a series of regional events will be organised during 2022 and 2023. This event, responds to an identified need raised on the first regional exchange: Enhancing the capacities of municipal representatives to access international funding for the implementation of urban transformation projects, towards greener and more inclusive cities in the Mediterranean.
Municipal government finances are secured from a range of sources: central government transfers; access to municipal borrowing; as well as locally-generated revenue, through property taxes, business taxes and user fees. However, the lack of resources at local level is nothing new. This is a primary concern for many cities and regions, especially in the Global South, where the demand for public services and infrastructure is most pressing and many times beyond the powers and resources that local councils are given. Territorial public authorities are too often left aside within a global financial architecture which remains largely designed by and for the States or when it comes to innovative sources of finance, such as blended financial models for development or climate finance.
As in the global south, the municipalities in the Mediterranean are facing enormous challenges in accessing funds for sustainable development regarding the 2030 Agenda (with its Sustainable Development Goals) and the New Urban Agenda and responding to the demands of international donors and IFIs.
The event “Local authorities and bankable urban transformation projects: access to international funds” aims at offering a better understanding of the opportunities to finance sustainable urban development actions through grants; loans and blended mechanisms. The event has a mixed component of political exchanges and technical training, by targeting both Mayors and high-level technical staff of local development units working on big urban projects.
Blended finance is the strategic use of development finance for the mobilisation of additional finance towards sustainable development in developing countries. It attracts commercial capital towards projects that contribute to sustainable development, while providing financial returns to investors.
Objectives of the event
Connect the participating local authorities and promote an active exchange of experiences in accessing international funding for the implementation of urban projects.
Identify the challenges faced by local authorities in accessing international funds.
Familiarise the participating local authorities with donors’ requirements to access international funds and enhance their technical capacities for identifying, preparing and implementing innovative financing.
Tunisia: Tunis and Sfax
Lebanon: Beirut and Saida
Palestine: Bethlehem and Ramallah
Jordan: Greater Irbid Municipality and As-Salt
Morocco: Tetuan and Agadir
The event targets the Mayors and high-level officials, such as the Directors of Local Development Units or Managers of Big Projects.