50 million people in urban areas face protracted and repeated armed violence. The direct impact of conflict is visible and well understood, but there is less research into the cumulative, long-term effects – the gradual collapse of electricity, water and sanitation services.
This new report is based on 30 years of ICRC work in urban conflict zones including Iraq, Gaza, Ukraine, Syria and Yemen. It warns that unless humanitarian agencies adopt a different approach to assisting urban populations in conflict, the human and social cost could be catastrophic, with the deterioration of critical infrastructure leaving people without essential services.
When conflicts drag on, maintaining essential services can become simply too difficult and the damage can become too expensive to reverse.
The report recommends that humanitarian agencies change their current approach, so as to minimize public health risks, the displacement of civilians and the costs of rebuilding and developing after the conflict has ended.
Please find the complete report attached below.