The humanitarian landscape is changing. Urbanization is defining our global reality and will shape our future. Displacement, conflict and natural disasters are increasingly urban phenomena. The Global Alliance for Urban Crises was established to bring together the different actors who can help to improve crisis preparedness and response in our increasingly urban world.
The Global Alliance for Urban Crises arose out of consultations for the World Humanitarian Summit (WHS) held in May 2016, during which a number of committed organisations led an urban expert group and developed a series of Urban Recommendations. The Alliance is the vehicle through which these recommendations will be put into action. It is guided by a series of principles, also developed by the urban expert group, as laid out in the Urban Crises Charter. The Alliance builds on the Inter-Agency Standing Committee’s (IASC) ‘Strategy for Meeting Humanitarian Challenges in Urban Areas’, and the decision of the IASC Principals in April 2015 to adopt area-based approaches and surge capacity through local authorities.
The Alliance was formally launched during a Special Session at the WHS, where institutional and joint commitments were made to operationalize the urban recommendations.
The Alliance works towards four thematic objectives:
- Tailor humanitarian response to the urban context by developing shared assessment and profiling tools, promoting joint analysis, and adapting coordination mechanisms.
- Develop or work with existing global, regional and national rosters to facilitate the deployment of urban leaders, managers and technical experts.
- Build the evidence base on the specific characteristics of protracted displacement in urban areas, and contribute to the design of appropriate and cost-effective responses, with particular regard to protection of vulnerable people, shelter, basic services and infrastructure.
- Ensure that initiatives focused on building urban resilience incorporate components on resilient response and recovery from crises, and that they leverage greatest impact in cities most at risk of humanitarian emergencies.