Europe

On World Refugee Day this year, the UN High Commissioner for Refugees reported that the number of refugees, asylum-seekers, and internally displaced people worldwide has exceeded 50 million people. Humanitarian organizations are currently struggling to address the needs of these displaced populations, due primarily to protracted armed conflict and other situations of violence.

Recent high-profile attacks on humanitarian professionals in Syria and Iraq call attention to a disturbing trend: humanitarian agencies face growing threats and attacks on their staff.

What role does gender play in humanitarian crises? How could a gendered lens improve humanitarian practitioners’ approaches to designing and implementing assistance and protection programs in complex environments? A gendered perspective of humanitarian protection focuses on analyzing the impact of gender on vulnerabilities in conflict settings.

Climate change and environmental degradation are increasingly becoming a humanitarian issue. Variability in climate, as well as in increased frequency and intensity of extreme weather events, is disrupting livelihoods, driving displacement, and contributing to conflicts over increasingly limited natural resources.

Rapid urbanization represents the most significant demographic change of the twenty-first century. 2008 marked the first time in human history that over half of the world population lived in urban settings. The process of urbanization, fueled by economic and social foreces, has particularly accelerated in countries in the Global South.

As rapid urbanization creates complex environments that concentrate the risks and hazards of man-made and natural disasters, it also presents a vital advantage that must be exploited. Urban humanitarian emergencies by their very nature occur within the geo-political sphere of a governing body, the municipal government, and as such they are the responsibility of that body.

This brief report reviews the health concerns that arise with rapid urbanization and confront humanitarian organizations during acute emergencies.  The authors argue that one way forward is for humanitarian organizations to learn from existing grass-roots efforts.

This study evaluated the health impact of a public private partnership using microfinance to upgrade slum infrastructure in Ahmedabad, India. The authors show a statistically significant reduction in waterborne illness as a result of the intervention and point to further unmeasured benefits from the upgrade.

This paper describes the current rates of urbanization and the developing health consequences framed as a humanitarian crisis. The authors go on to analyze the current state of knowledge and policy on urban health.

Liberia has made progress in peacebuilding and reconstruction in the aftermath of a 14-year long civil war, but the country continues to face challenges in overcoming the results of a legacy of violence.

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