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HOMELESS: DEVELOPING COUNTRIES


source: .achr.net/underbridge.htm#
APRIL%2099


www.un.org/cyberschoolbus/
habitat/background/bg2.asp


http://www.unhcr.org/
statistics/STATISTICS/
4852366f2.pdf


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In most cities of the developing world, up to one half of the urban population lives in informal slum or squatter settlements…
  • according to the 2003 UN-Habitat Report, today 923,986,000 people, or 31.6% of the world’s total urban population live in life- and health-threatening homes. Most of them live in Asia, Africa and Latin America; (1)


  • 43% of the urban population of all developing regions combined and 78.2% of the urban population in the ‘least developed countries’ live in slums, which are neither legally recognised nor serviced by city authorities. The informal parts of the city do not enjoy many of the benefits of urban life, including access to basic services and secure tenure; (1)


  • the developing world is now experiencing urbanisation in the way developed countries did in the past, with urban populations doubling and tripling in one or two decades. The difference is that urban dwellers in the developing world earn as little as US$200 per person in annual income, compared - for instance - to more than $20,000 in the United States;


  • the threat of mass homelessness is greatest in those regions because that is where population is growing fastest. By 2015, the 10 largest cities in the world will be in Asia, Latin America and Africa. Nine of them will be in developing countries: Bombay, India - 27.4 million; Lagos, Nigeria - 24.4; Shanghai, China - 23.4; Jakarta, Indonesia - 21.2; Sao Paulo, Brazil - 20.8; Karachi, Pakistan - 20.6; Beijing, China - 19.4; Dhaka, Bangladesh - 19; Mexico City, Mexico - 18.8. The only city in a developed country that will be in the top ten is Tokyo, Japan - 28.7 million; (1)


  • urban poverty results because in many countries, national and local governments cannot plan for the population increases, and fail to provide the required infrastructure, services and jobs. In some Third World nations such as Brazil (10,000 homeless people in Sao Paulo alone), India (probably 20 million homeless households), and South Africa (4 million) homelessness is rampant, with millions of children living and working on the streets;


  • however, homelessness is not just an urban issue… Because in developing countries poverty is worst in the rural areas, the question of landlessness is very closely tied to homelessness and people not having a resource base - not being able to farm;


  • in the rural areas in developing countries, homelessness also increases because of large-scale development projects (big dams, etc) and there not being adequate resettlement and rehabilitation policies, people are left on their own. This has often led to dislocation - particularly of minorities and tribal people;


  • according to the UNHCR, today 9.7 million refugees and 4.4 million IDPs (Internally Displaced Persons) are homeless as a result of war, racial or religious conflict. While this is a decreasing trend in the number of refugees and IDPS worldwide, number of homeless people is increasing in Latin America and the Caribbean;


  • homelessness has also become a problem in the cities of China, Thailand, Indonesia, and the Philippines despite their growing prosperity, mainly due to migrant workers who have trouble finding permanent homes and to rising income inequality between social classes.

(1) UN-Habitat Global Report on Human Settlements 2003, ”The Challenge of slums”; www.unchs.org/global_report.asp
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