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Urban development assistance mostly benefits big cities

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Official Development Assistance  for urban development is mostly channelled to big cities, benefitting some 63 million people or37% of the region’s total urban population of 171 million people. About 45% of urban development projects were implemented in agglomerations with more than 300 000 inhabitants. However, nearly half of West Africa’s urban dwellers live in small and medium-size cities. The mapping of urban development-related  projects according to city size illustrates their highly uneven distribution in the region. Capital cities and large urban agglomerations - where infrastructure is already comparatively better developed - benefit from the strongest support from development partners. On the other hand, only one in five medium-size cities (300 000 – 1 million people) receives urban development assistance, and the large majority of small agglomerations (< 300 000 inhabitants) do not get any support. Considering West Africa’s rapidly growing small and mid-sized cities, development partners need to better target and scale up their support.

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