- European Commission – Directorate-General For Humanitarian Aid And Civil Protection (ECHO) European Union.
In the context of global displacement due to conflicts, natural disasters and climate change, progressively larger numbers of people are forced from their homes for longer periods, resulting in protracted displacement situations. This event will outline the specificities of humanitarian crises in urban settings and stress the importance of an appropriate and effective response to protracted displacement in urban contexts. Increasingly, refuge is sought in urban areas, where access to services and (informal) employment opportunities are more prevalent than in rural settings. However, unplanned and rapid urbanisation in many cities exacerbates the vulnerability of urban populations, in particular the more marginalised including displaced persons and migrants, and puts pressure on often already strained services. In this context, the recent EU policy on Forced Displacement and Development stresses that managing urban displacement is a combined human rights, development and humanitarian concern, for which the needs of refugees and internally displaced persons need to be balanced with the needs of host communities. Through a number of relevant case studies, the panellists will address conflict-driven refugee crises in urban settings and humanitarian situations in slum settlements and other situations of violence. Discussions will aim to underline the need to work further towards sustainable global and local solutions for displaced persons, by addressing root causes and the protracted nature of forced displacement, through stronger links between humanitarian and development approaches. The discussions will draw lessons on the importance of local communities and authorities for the socio-economic inclusion of forcibly displaced persons in line with the 'Leave No One Behind' commitment guiding the New Urban Agenda and the Sustainable Development Goals, and associated commitments made at the World Humanitarian Summit, the General Assembly's Summit to address Large Movements of Refugees and Migrants and President Obama's Summit on the Global Refugee Crisis.