Cities as Humanitarian Actors in Contexts of Displacement: Policy report no. 04/02

Cities, small and large, are at the forefront of receiving displaced persons who are fleeing from both recent, as well as longer-standing, humanitarian crises. In the imaginaries of many on the move, cities are spaces of opportunity and hope, where many seek to build new lives. They are also spaces where displaced persons may wait in transit, often for long periods of time. While cities have long been resilient to change, the current period is seeing the emergence of a range of new humanitarian challenges, particularly in a context where state policies are falling short and there is an increasing fragmentation in interests, policies and priorities. Taking a range of examples from across the world, this report examines how new arrivals are received and integrated into cities within formal and informal spaces; how cities address everyday issues relating to housing and shelter, health and education; how urban citizens build socio-cultural communities of solidarity in periods of uncertainty and transition; and the role of civil society in these processes to support and engage with displaced populations. It examines the idea of cities as humanitarian actors, highlighting good practices and initiatives in different urban contexts that address current humanitarian challenges relating to migration and forced displacement.  

This report of the United Nations University Institute on Globalization, Culture and Mobility forms part of the series Migration and Crises

Published 2018-11-30