Humanitarian challenges of urbanization

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.