- European Commission – Directorate General for European Civil Protection and Humanitarian Aid Operations (ECHO)
At a time when urban populations are expected to reach 70% of the world population by 2050, more and more humanitarian crises are impacting cities. Whether the result of conflicts, natural disasters or climate change, millions of women, men and children worldwide are forced to flee their homes with little prospect of return. Urban displacement is becoming the new normal.
Conflicts in Syria and Iraq have forced thousands of Syrians to seek refuge in cities in Jordan, Lebanon or Egypt. The Haiti earthquake of 2010 or the floods in the Western Balkans in 2015 led to widespread displacement of populations. Urban areas at high risk of disasters are increasingly resorting to preventive measures: the megacity of Manila in the Philippines is anticipating the impacts of future earthquake events. Climate change is also now driving people out of their homes, with visible impacts in Vanuatu and many other Pacific islands.
Today, 60% of all refugees and 80% of all internally displaced persons are seeking refuge in cities. Whether as safe havens or reasons for exile, cities are at the heart of forced displacement worldwide. Humanitarian aid targets the immediate needs of urban displaced persons and the communities hosting them. Development action addresses the medium and longer-term measures, to ensure human dignity, development, resilience and prosperity.
This side event intends to raise awareness of the urgencies faced by urban refugees. Discussions will explore how the implementation of the New Urban Agenda can contribute to addressing the needs of forcibly displaced persons, in line with the 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, and the General Assembly's Summit to address Large Movements of Refugees and Migrants.
Mr Mustafa Tunç Soyer,Mayor of of Seferihisar, Turkey
Ms Gaia Vanderesch, Deputy Director, IMPACT Initiative
Mr Vicente Anzellini, Coordinator of the Global Report on Internal Displacement, Internal Displacement Monitoring Centre (IDMC)
Mr Richard Towle (TBC), Head of Country Office, UNHCR, Malaysia
Chair and Moderator: Mr Jean-Louis De Brouwer, Director, European Commission's Directorate General for European Civil Protection and Humanitarian Aid Operations (ECHO), European Union