Everyone has the right to adequate housing. This right is recognized in key international legal instruments. This includes the right to live in security, peace and dignity, with security of tenure, as well as protection from forced eviction and the right to restitution. In this context, shelter should be seen as a process that should focus on providing the needs of affected populations for the expected duration of use.
Shelter and settlement risks and vulnerabilities are on the increase due to changes in disaster trends, the impact of climate change, as well as growing social and economic marginalization and urbanization. Furthermore, shelter is a critical determinant for survival in the initial stages of a disaster. Beyond survival, shelter is necessary to provide security, personal safety and protection from the climate and to promote resistance to ill health and disease. It is also important for human dignity, to sustain family and community life and to enable affected populations to recover from the impact of disaster. Shelter and associated settlement and non-food item responses should support existing coping strategies and promote self-sufficiency and self-management by those affected by the disaster. Local skills and resources should be maximized where this does not result in adverse effects on the affected population or local economy. Any response should take into account known disaster risks and minimize the long-term adverse impact on the natural environment, while maximizing opportunities for the affected population to maintain or establish livelihood support activities.
In other words: Climate change + urbanisation + social & economic marginalisation = INCREASED SHELTER RISK
What do I need to know?
Shelter should provide:
Shelter solutions should promote:
Shelter solutions should consider:
Shelter should be informed by:
Protection from climate
Use of communal coping strategies
Provision of adequate space
Nature and scale of disaster
Security and personal safety
Self-sufficiency and self-management
Protection from hazards and risks
Climatic conditions and local environment
Enhanced resistance to ill health and disease
Reducing risks and vulnerabilities
Access to safe drinking water and adequate sanitation and washing facilities
Political and security situation
Support for family and community life
Minimising adverse impacts on local environment and economy
Access to healthcare, schools, social services and livelihood opportunities
Context – rural or urban
Basic human dignity
Maximising household livelihood support and local economic activities
Energy for cooking, heating and lighting
Ability of community to cope
Food storage and safe refuse disposal
Consideration of those secondarily affected by disaster i.e. host community
Cultural appropriateness of materials, design and layout
Mandate of the host National Society
Furthermore, the shelter, settlement and non-food item needs of populations affected by a disaster are determined by the type and scale of the disaster and the extent to which the population is displaced. The response will also be informed by the ability and desire of displaced populations to return to the site of their original dwelling and to start the recovery process: where they are unable or unwilling to return, they will require temporary or transitional shelter and settlement solutions. The local context of the disaster will inform the response, including whether the affected area is rural or urban; the local climatic and environmental conditions; the political and security situation; and the ability of the affected population to contribute to meeting their shelter needs.
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