According to the UN High Commissioner for Refugees, in 2016 there were 65.6 million people globally who were forcibly displaced, more than ever. Increasingly, the proportion moving to urban areas is growing. In 2016, 60 percent of refugees were living in urban areas.
In a world where more than 50 percent of people live in urban areas, cities will increasingly feel the effects of crises. As a result, the humanitarian sector urgently needs to adapt how it responds.
Methods for assessing humanitarian contexts are designed for rural ― not urban ― areas.
Local or municipal governments play a critical role in responding to crises. In places with relatively effective local authorities, humanitarian agencies can work with them to get cities working again.
Local authorities’ knowledge of the local situation can help to ensure that humanitarian action supports longer-term development without undermining systems central to a city’s ability to function, such as infrastructure and its markets.
But there are also many local governments that lack the capacity to respond effectively and rapidly to a crisis. Cities may already be strained and unable to provide residents with basic services, particularly the women, children, and men living in informal settlements.
Read the full article on by urban crisis response Diane Archer at IRIN
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