IASC Strategy: Meeting Humanitarian Challenges in Urban Areas

Manual and Guideline
Originally published


The aim of this IASC Strategy is to recommend actions which humanitarian actors can take to make their responses to humanitarian crises in urban areas more effective and thereby save more lives and accelerate early recovery. Six strategic objectives and supporting actions are proposed which will enhance their expertise and operational capacities in urban areas. This Strategy further addresses and prioritizes the humanitarian challenges identified in the Initial IASC Strategy for Meeting Humanitarian Challenges in Urban Areas of 2009.

This Strategy includes a recommended Two-Year Action Plan of priority actions to be implemented by IASC agencies and other interested partners. This Strategy and its Action Plan proposes that individual IASC agencies will choose those actions to implement which are of highest priority to their operations and to self-monitor their progress. Progress under the Strategy and Action Plan should be reviewed by the IASC Working Group after two years to determine follow-on steps.

The principal objectives of this Strategy are to:

• consolidate and enhance current expertise of humanitarian actors
• build their respective strategies for enhancing urban programming and response implementation
• identify good practices in tools and assessments, opportunities to further adapt rural tools and identify remaining gaps in order to improve operational capacity and impact of urban-based humanitarian assistance
• strengthen four key elements – partnerships, host country national and local leadership, preparedness planning and understanding/ analysis of vulnerability, community resilience and beneficiary targeting.

The Strategy takes into account:

• Different types of international actor and mandates: United Nations agencies, Red Cross/Red Crescent Movement, IOM, NGOs (international, national and local)
• Different types of crises: slow or sudden onset, natural or conflict-related disasters and complex emergencies
• No one assistance strategy fits all crises - adaptation to each crisis is required
• Need for advocacy with donors to better understand and to support urban relief efforts.