IRRC No. 901

The ICRC’s approach to urban services during protracted armed conflict: Q & A with Evaristo de Pinho Oliveira

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The experience gained from addressing the challenge of maintaining public services (for example water, sanitation, electricity, and solid waste disposal) over time has taught us that the underlying causes of those challenges do not receive the attention they deserve. Even their symptoms are difficult to deal with through short-term emergency response. Addressing these challenges is all the more difficult when the complexity inherent in urban contexts is compounded by repeated cycles of armed conflict and international sanctions or other restrictions on importing goods. The ICRC's experience and research suggests that a new humanitarian era needs to be ushered in, where nothing less than a paradigm shift in our thinking is necessary, to design and implement interventions that are more effective for assisting affected people.

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