IRRC No. 878

Humanitarian challenges of urbanization

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More than one billion people nowadays live as slum-dwellers in informal settlements characterized by vulnerability and poverty. The 'normal' situation in slums can, in several ways, be classified as a 'crisis', and violence levels often contribute to situations akin to 'armed conflict'. The plight of these people should be the concern of humanitarian organizations, which should consequently widen their spectrum and address vulnerability to disasters and to violence as mutually reinforcing. Applying the 'human security' framework and 'livelihoods' approach can enable them to take a proactive role. However, particularly for the International Red Cross and Red Crescent Movement, a greater involvement also poses several challenges.

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