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Cordaid NL

UN-Habitat: number of slum dwellers grows to 863 million

According to the latest UN-Habitat publication regarding Urban Development and Management (November 2013), the absolute number of slum dwellers continues to grow, due to the fast tempo of urbanization.

UN-Habitat states that the number of people living in slum conditions is now estimated at 863 million, in contrast to 760 million in 2000 and 650 million in 1990.


The publication highlights the issue of ‘peripherization’, which is characterized by huge urban areas with illegal arrangements of land use. Moreover, this is combined with a general lack of infrastructure, public facilities and basic services, such as improved drinking water and proper sanitation. The consequence of poverty is ‘urban expansion’, since there are unplanned settlements on land use due to a lack of affordable housing alternatives. One of the main factors of ‘peripherization’ is the refusal of constant land rights to the urban poor, correlated with the urban expansion in developing countries.


Needed: Smart Solutions

Cordaid Urban Matters is working on ‘Smart Solutions for Slums’ in Central America, Africa, Asia and the Caribbean. By connecting the population living in slums with companies, authorities, communities, knowledge centers and NGOs, we aim to work jointly towards homes, sanitation, clean drinking water, waste disposal and safety that results in livable and sustainable neighborhoods.

One of our current projects is to build a City Park for the youth in the Mejicanos neighborhood of San Salvador (El Salvador) with the aim to reduce urban violence and conflict.

Have a look at all our projects!

Read the UN Habitat report.