International aid: The Red Cross launched an awareness campaign for its “Shelter Research Unit” on Wednesday, which investigates how to improve emergency housing solutions.
The agency says the number of natural disasters has doubled over the past decade and estimates more than 100 million people worldwide are homeless as a result. It also cites research reckoning that about 1.6 billion live in “slums and inappropriate housing,” a figure likely to rise due to continued climate change, urbanisation and armed conflict.
Last year, the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies and the Benelux Red Cross Societies established the SRU--based at the offices of the Luxembourg Red Cross--to develop “innovative material and technical shelter solutions, and the gathering and sharing of shelter resources.”
While the Red Cross programme has received support from the European Commission, Luxembourg’s foreign ministry and the Foundation Veuve Emile Metz-Tesch, it is now looking for increased public involvement.
To that end, the SRU will host a conference on November 8 and 9 on the use of steel in emergency shelters, supported by ArcelorMittal.