The humanitarian system is placing greater emphasis on developing the understanding and programmatic approaches necessary to improve crisis response in an urban environment. In short, the system is confronted by the growing urbanization of humanitarian crisis, driven by changing conflict dynamics, burgeoning urban fragility, increasing susceptibility to disasters and a rapidly urbanizing world. Compared to rural areas or camp settings, cities present unique context challenges: sheer density and numbers of people, complex and often robust/controlling government structures or the invisibility of people in need of assistance among large urban populations, to name but a few.
People walking down street in urban environment where several buildings have collapsed following a disaster
Photo: IOM

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