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Aid in a city at war: the case of Mogadishu, Somalia

Groupe URD has just published an article on "Aid in a city at war: the case of Mogadishu, Somalia", in the special issue of ’Disasters’ on Urban vulnerability and humanitarian response.

Mogadishu, the capital of Somalia, has been central to life, war, and peace in the country for almost two decades. Its urban characteristics, though, have been put to one side for the most part. In recent years, Mogadishu-related issues have been merged mostly into a global agenda for South and Central Somalia, resulting in the technical and coordination approaches employed in the city largely being reproductions of solutions utilised in refugee camps and rural areas. Unfortunately, urban problems require urban solutions. The aid system is just starting to discover how specific aid in cities at war should be, both from an organisational and a technical standpoint. The enhancement of aid practices in an urban setting implies, among other things, a more strategic approach to the specific spatial characteristics of the city, a more fine-tuned analysis of the technical requirements of the urban service delivery systems, and a better understanding of the role of urban institutions.

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