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Strategic Considerations in Shelter Responses

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Key points
  • Shelter cannot be looked at in isolation; any response must consider the settlement or the context in which the households are sheltered. A variety of shelter options should be always considered
  • An emergency shelter response should meet life-saving needs while considering its potential evolution and the need for more durable solutions over time
  • Shelter design criteria should address hazard risks and safety, timeliness and construction speed, lifespan, privacy, tenure security and cultural appropriateness, thermal comfort; environmental considerations, cost, standards and building codes
  • Promote local design and construction techniques as much as possible
  • Involve forcibly displaced people and host communities from an early stage of the response design, so as to leverage their capacities and skills, and make sure that the shelter response will meet their most urgent needs
  • Coordinate closely with protection staff to monitor and mitigate protection risks related to potentially exploitative situations (rental accommodation, host arrangements), tenure insecurity, GBV, etc.

Post emergency phase

As the immediate emergency response stabilizes and life-saving needs have been largely met, the post-emergency phase would prioritize more sustainable shelter solutions and longer-term approaches ensuring long lasting protection and resilience for forcibly displaced and stateless persons.

Following a comprehensive reassessment of shelter needs, responses are adapted to align with the evolving dynamics of affected population. Community empowerment, sense of ownership, tenure security, intentions to stay and access to income become pivotal, involving affected populations in decision-making and fostering skills for sustainable shelter provision.

Key Action Points:

  • Continuity in livelihood support programs is crucial, ensuring ongoing self-reliance and economic stability. This may include exploring income-generating activities related to shelter construction.
  • Prioritize durable solutions, the focus is on shelter options that uphold the principles of "a life in dignity" and address long-term housing needs.
  • Advocacy for access to HLP rights aims to reduce eviction risks and enhance access to essential services.
  • A robust monitoring framework guides adaptive strategies, ensuring flexibility in response to ongoing feedback and emerging challenges.
  • Continued coordination with governmental agencies, NGOs, and international organizations remains, while also seeking inclusion of forcibly displaced into shelter and housing development plans and financing mechanisms. Collaboration with local businesses is explored to enhance economic opportunities.

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