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The humanitarian landscape is changing. With more than half of the world’s population already residing in cities, and growing, urbanization is defining our global reality. Rapid and often unplanned urbanization continues unabated, including in fragile settings, and is exacerbating the impacts of a range of natural and man-made disasters. Armed conflict and the use of explosive weapons in densely populated areas cause death and injury amongst civilians; earthquakes inflict unique levels of devastation in cities, as do severe storms and floods. But urban areas can also offer sanctuary: the majority of internally displaced people and refugees have sought refuge in cities and towns around the world.

The intersection of urbanization with conflict, displacement and climate change calls into question traditional ways humanitarians respond to crises. The Global Alliance for Urban Crises has emerged to address these trends and challenges.The Alliance promotes a vision of inclusive, safe, resilient, and sustainable cities and towns, as laid out in the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development.

The Alliance will provide knowledge, build capacities and develop data-informed and evidence-based approaches in order to more effectively prevent, prepare for, and respond to humanitarian crises in urban settings; ultimately contributing to longer term, recovery, development and resilience building efforts.