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Urbanization is constantly on the rise, with cities already absorbing more than half of the world’s population and armed conflicts increasingly being fought in urban settings. Regions facing protracted armed conflict see a steady decline in essential public services, while the relief-rehabilitation-development paradigm and funding mechanisms fail to provide a satisfactory response in these settings.
Based on more than 30 years of ICRC experience in protracted armed conflict in urban settings, this report underlines the challenges, describes the characteristics and complexity of essential services, questions current paradigms and proposes new avenues to be explored to better respond to the needs of urban communities increasingly affected by these phenomena.