Mediterranean Municipalities at the forefront of the refugee crisis convened “Peer-To-Peer Learning Workshop for Communities Hosting Refugees” on 30 May – 1 June 2016 in Amman, the capital of Jordan.

The Workshop was organized by the Center for Mediterranean Integration (CMI) and the World Bank, in partnership with the Government of Jordan, United Cities and Local Development Middle East and West Asia (UCLG-MEWA), the Deutsche Gesellschaft für International Zusammenarbeit (GIZ), Medcities, and other partners. Secretary General M. Cemil Arslan and International Cooperation Expert Burcuhan Sener represented Marmara Municipalities Union (MMU) at the Workshop.

The Workshop consisting of two days of interactive exchanges workshops and a half day field visit to Irbid built on the experiences and challenges faced by host communities in Jordan, Lebanon, Turkey, as well as selected North African and European cities, enabling their representatives to learn from each other’s experiences and to identify best practices towards mainstreaming into policies and operations. Participants included local government representatives, central government focal points, non-governmental and civil society stakeholders, as well as development and humanitarian partners, experts and practitioners.


H.E. Eg. Walid Muhi Aldin AlMasri, Minister of Municipal Affairs in the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan, emphasized the significance of discussing the refugee crisis in Independence Day of Jordan. Saleh Al Kilani, Refugee Affairs Coordinator in the Jordanian Ministry of Interior, on the other hand, reminded the famous quote of George C. Marshall that the only way human beings can win a war is to prevent it. Babil Deputy Governor Hasan Mandeel reported that the number of refugees residing in Iraq exceeded 4 million. Ahmed Hawamdeh, Mayor of Mafraq, Jordan, asserted that they could not foresee that the process would last so long and added there are approximately 1.4 million refugees currently residing in Jordan.

Akram Abuallan, Mayor of Al Thahiriya, Hebron Governorate, Palestinian Territories, remarked that Palestine is still under occupation and despite all challenges, the Municipality carries on its works. Mehmet Abdullah Aksoy, Head of Health and Social Services in the Gaziantep Metropolitan Municipality, Turkey, laid stress on the fact that Turkey is the country hosting the largest number of refugees in the world since 2014, with 3 million Syrian refugees. He asserted that Turkey has so far spent more than 10 billion USD for Syrian refugees while the amount of the humanitarian aid spent for Syrians by the international community is only 455 milion USD.

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