Rui Moreira and another 60 mayors of municipalities all over the world gathered for an online meeting, today, to discuss commitments to inclusive growth and pledged to support youth through COVID-19 recovery initiatives in their cities. This event marked the 5th Anniversary Meeting of the OECD Champion Mayors For Inclusive Growth, which was first established in March 2016.
The ongoing pandemic laid bare the painful shortcomings among vulnerable people, communities and even countries. And local governments, namely mayors have positioned themselves to champion the necessary responses that can help to bridge the gap of inequalities, as regards the Covid-9 crisis.
One of the most vulnerable groups are the youth, with alarming unemployment rates that have skyrocket at global level. Mayor of Porto, Rui Moreira, joined the mayors of Athens, Bilbao, Braga, Boulogne, Bogota, Buenos Aires, Dakar, Philadelphia, Florence, Stockholm, Hamburg, Lima, Liverpool, Los Angeles, Montreal, New York, Paris, Seville, Sintra, Telavive, Tokyo and Viana do Castelo, just to mention a few, to fight for Inclusive Growth, as regards youth support, in the framework of the COVID-19 recovery strategy.
The Mayor of Paris, and Chair of the OECD Champion Mayors For Inclusive Growth initiative, Anne Hidalgo, stated that “as city leaders, we are key actors in domains that affect youth, and we must enable young people to build good lives for themselves by providing educational and employment opportunities that will empower them”.
During his presentation, Mayor Rui Moreira highlighted some of the programmes and initiatives by the Municipality of Porto to mitigate the economic crisis brought by the Covid-19 pandemic, namely the “Porto com Sentido”, a programme “where the Municipality acts as an interim agent that signs lease contracts with landlords, directly, and ensures upfront rent payment, and the tenants are young households. Also, the Municipality ensures that the dwellings are leased in good working conditions”, affirmed Rui Moreira.
Mayor Rui Moreira also enhanced the “Porto Solidário” programme, which was established in 2014 and whose budget allocation was strengthened this year with one million euros. The programme was proposed by Mayor of Porto, Rui Moreira during the electoral campaign in 2013, and it represents an investment by the Municipality of Porto of circa 5.9 million euros, essential to guarantee the right of housing to the most vulnerable households. Previously a 12 month support programme, it was later extended to 24 months. This programme is targeted at granting economic support to economic vulnerable households regarding house rent or purchase, and it is essential to guarantee the right of housing to the most vulnerable households.
Mayor of Paris, and Chair of the OECD Champion Mayors For Inclusive Growth initiative, Anne Hidalgo, said “local government leaders have a crucial role to play to protect and empower youth to get through this crisis and prepare for the post-COVID world”.
As stated by the media release, this event commits the city leaders to three key actions, such as improving youth access to local services, improving access to local economic opportunities and labour markets and creating pathways for youth engagement in local public life.