The following are parts of the most relevant pronouncements regarding the impact of COVID-19 on human settlements.
UN Special Rapporteur on the right to adequate housing
“Housing has become the front line defence against the coronavirus. Home has rarely been more of a life or death situation ”
“It is clear that the pandemic will hit the world's most vulnerable people the hardest — many of them living in informal settlements and slums in cities”
Urban Housing Practitioners Hub (UHPH)
Housing Laboratory (LAV) - Precarious settlements and social housing: COVID-19 impacts and response.
Isolation, social distancing and quarantine strategies, as implemented in other contexts, are not sustainable and in other cases are not viable to the extent that they put at risk the survival of the inhabitants of areas with precarious habitability conditions.
The quickest strategy to capitalize on the immediate response and contribute to the long-term post-pandemic recovery is to generate a regional intersectoral alliance that will catapult a renewed program for the comprehensive improvement of healthy neighbourhoods.
The coronavirus disease pandemic (COVID-19) has highlighted, in an unprecedented way, the importance of care for the sustainability of life and the low visibility that this sector has in the economies of the region, in which it is still considered an externality and not a fundamental component for development.
Global Platform for the Right to the City
“Recover and strengthen community public services / Transition towards a caring society, recognizing the role of women as caregivers of homes and community”
LRGs are taking the lead and providing bold responses to the local housing challenges triggered by the COVID-19 crisis.
( Download briefing in Spanish)
The sacrifices of our communities cannot go unnoticed. We, the leaders of local and regional governments around the world, are looking ahead, well aware that our cities, towns, and territories will never be the same in the aftermath of this crisis
Habitat International Coalition
More than ever, we all must avoid stigmatizing and discriminating against others in this common crisis.
Social Science and Humanitarian Action Group
Preparedness and early action by local governments and communities are essential. Once an outbreak occurs escalation can be rapid, leaving little room for further planning.
Historically, informal settlements and their residents have been stigmatized, blamed, and subject to rules and regulations which are unaffordable or unfeasible to adhere to. Responses to COVID-19 should not repeat these mistakes. Collaborating with local residents and trusting them as stewards of their community, with unsurpassed knowledge of relevant spatial and social infrastructures, will enable effective control measures.
Institute of Development Studies
"'Slums' are hard to know. The informal or illegal status of many deprived settlements often undermines both the collection of data and the implementation of policies to improve health.
Informal settlements and their residents are part and parcel of the city system, often subsidizing and contributing to life elsewhere in the city.
Community engagement will be key to effective epidemic control, be it delivering trusted messages, carrying out surveillance, or attempting to limit movement "
International Institute of Environment and Development (IIED)
The global spread of COVID-19 poses particular risks for the one billion people living in informal urban settlements in the global South. A range of factors makes the transition of the virus more likely and strategies to tackle it extremely difficult to implement.
A one-size-fits-all approach, however, risks overlooking the enormous differences between rich and poor countries with regard to living conditions, social mores, and the availability of resources and services.
Yale School of medicine
Slum Health Immediate Measures: Create Informal settlements / slum emergency planning committees / Immediate moratorium on evictions / Immediate guarantee of payments to the poor / Immediate Community Health Worker deployment / Immediately met Sphere Humanitarian standards for water, sanitation and hygiene / Immediate food assistance / Solid Waste collection strategy / Immediate plan for mobility & health care.
Inter-American Development Bank
From the urban policy point of view, there are four areas where policymakers can influence during the crisis: Provision of infrastructure / Reinforce behaviour patterns / Activate the local economy / Articulate with other government areas
Women's Environment and Development Organization
A world centred on regeneration and care, for ourselves, for others, for our planet, is the only sustainable future.
Inequality and injustice are incompatible with a healthy world.
We can radically transform our world to meet global crises if we work with purpose and in solidarity.
Center for women's global leadership
Violence against women, domestic violence / Intimate partner violence (DV / IPV). Rates and severity of domestic violence / intimate partner violence against women, including sexual and reproductive violence, will likely emerge as tension rises. Mobility restrictions (social distance, self-isolation, extreme lockdown, or quarantine) will also increase survivors' vulnerability to abuse and need for protection services.