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Strengthening the resilience of urban communities: Our way forward

Cecilia Schmoelzer



Tuesday, June 28, 2022


Multifunction Hall Room 4
International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies (IFRC)
Building Resilience for Sustainable Urban Futures
NE 84


Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies (RCRC) National Societies across the globe are engaged in providing humanitarian assistance in cities and towns and have a variety of experience working in urban environments that are subjected to climate change or natural disaster induced shocks and stress as well as contexts of violence and armed conflict.
Recognizing that the challenges urban populations are facing will increase rather than decrease, IFRC and ICRC are in the process of adopting two resolutions to emphasize the comittment of the Red Cross and Red Crescent Movement to the New Urban Agenda:
● IFRC resolution on “Strengthening the resilience of urban communities: Our way forward”
● ICRC resolution on “War in Cities”
National RCRC Societies in their auxiliary roles to national and city governments can make a real difference in building resilience in urban communities and advocating for the needs of the most vulnerable. National Societies can be instrumental in building coalitions that link communities with city municipal authorities, the private sector, and other civil society organisations and mobilising local resources at city/district branch level to address the growing risks faced by urban communities.
The resolutions call on the whole RCRC membership to scale up engagement in urban areas, and develop principles of action , with specific attention to:
- strengthening partnerships with local governments and key city stakeholders and identify the opportunities to enhance the contribution to urban community resilience according to the government plans
- scaling up the provision of services in urban settings, considering the social protection plans of governments and states to enhance interaction with social safety nets
- developing the RCRC Movement’s ability to drive innovation on humanitarian and development actions in urban settings.
- develop coordination mechanisms to harness the immense capacity of volunteers in urban contexts.
The Session will give opportunity to partners from City networks, urban governance, academia as well as other humanitarian organisations and of course Red Cross/Red Crescent, to discuss how to join forces on different levels (global, regional, city-level) in the common goal of making cities more resilient.


The main objectives of this session are to
- Raise awareness on specific urban vulnerabilities and risks and promote DRR, preparedness and anticipatory action to prevent worst case urban disaster scenarios from materialising.
- Promote building resilience of vulnerable urban dwellers to better cope with disasters when they happen.
- Advocate to strengthen disaster management and coordination mechanisms and build strong coalitions, partnerships and practical collaborations between humanitarian actors, municipal authorities and public and private sector actors to work on urban preparedness and building resilience using cross-sectoral and multi-hazards approaches.
- Showcase projects, activities and partnerships for building community resilience, especially in the wake of COVID19 pandemic and overlapping disasters triggered by climate change.

Session speakers

Ms. Christine Mutuku
Community Leader
Muungano wa Wanavijiji (Kenyan urban poor federation), SDI Network
Mr. Nazmul Huq
Head - Resilient Development Programme
Ms Cynthia Bakkalian
Deputy Disaster Risk Reduction Director
Lebanese Red Cross Society
Ms. Jennifer Andree Uribe Montoya
Secretary of Health
City of Medellin
Ms Fruzsina Straus
Africa Regional Focal Point for Urban Resilience, Climate Action and DRR and country programme manager Malawi, Rwanda, Indian Ocean