Weekly Urban News Update
April 10, 2020
In This Update: 
Why Slums, Refugee Camps, and Homeless Encampments Matter for Stopping Pandemics
Singapore Quarantines 20,000 Foreign Migrant Workers in "Squalid" Conditions
Government Aid May Not Trickle Down to Urban Workers in Nigeria
Black Americans in Cities Disproportionately Affected by Coronavirus
The Solidarity Baskets Helping to Feed Naples's Homeless
IHC Global Blog: Property Rights, Culture, and Context
In The News and Around the Web: 
This Week in Photos
Why Slums, Refugee Camps, and Homeless Encampments Matter for Pandemics
In order for governments to stop the spread of pandemics, they must consider slums, refugee camps, and homeless encampments, write Lee W. Riley, Robert Snyder, and Eva Raphael in T he New York Times . In these settlements, overcrowding, lack of clean water, and poorly ventilated homes render residents more vulnerable to infection. In 2018, researchers in Delhi estimated that that slum populations would suffer 44% higher rate of influenza infection than non-slum populations. Neglecting these areas may also lead governments to miss the magnitude of a pandemic. Further research in Delhi suggests that if a city ignores slums, it will underestimate infection rates by 10-50% and it would overestimate the effectiveness of a vaccine by 30-55%.

Read more here.
Singapore Quarantines 20,000 Foreign Migrant Workers in "Squalid" Conditions
On Sunday, Singapore quarantined 20,000 foreign migrant workers in two dormitories after 90 infections were reported. The workers, who mainly hail from Bangladesh and South Asia, report overcrowding and unhygienic living conditions as residents live 12 people per room and share limited wash facilities. Human Rights Watch and Amnesty International have called the situation a "tinderbox for infection" and a "recipe for disaster." The common sentiment among the workers is that if anyone in the dormitory is infected, it will spread rapidly to other occupants. Critics point out that the global praise Singapore has received for containing the virus now stands in contrast to its treatment of foreign, blue-collar workers that have been critical to its wealth and success.

Read more  here .
Government Aid May Not Trickle Down for Urban Workers in Nigeria
In Nigeria, informal urban workers are suffering from the national lockdowns which render them unable to earn money and non-eligible for government relief packages. According to the Director General of the Lagos Chamber of Commerce, government relief packages are aimed mostly at rural areas and the loan moratoriums exclude commercial loan repayments. Furthermore, 60% of Nigerians do not have a bank account, meaning they will be unable to receive the cash transfers that the Nigerian government promised to give. Consultant Tunde Ajileye says: "Until people can be found and tracked centrally and matched to their financial records, operations like these will at best be informed guesswork and fraught with corruption."

Read more  here .
Black Americans in Cities Disproportionately Affected by Coronavirus
In major American cities, black residents are contracting coronavirus at disproportionate rates. Thirty percent of Chicago residents are black, but black Americans account for 70% of Chicago's cases and more than half of coronavirus-related deaths in Illinois. In Louisiana, 70% of coronavirus-related deaths are black Americans and the majority of its cases occurred in New Orleans. Underlying health conditions, poverty, and racial inequities in health systems are among the causes of the disparity. African Americans are more likely to work in urban areas and essential industries which further exposes them. Some research also suggests that healthcare provided in majority African American or Latinx neighborhoods has lower quality care.

Read more here.
The Solidarity Baskets Helping Feed Naples's Homeless
"Solidarity baskets" are helping to feed homeless populations in Naples during Italy's COVID-19 national lockdown. In the city of two million people, soup kitchens are closed which has left many unhoused individuals without resources to get food. So, residents that are socially isolating are preparing meals for the homeless by turning to an old Neapolitan custom of lowering down baskets of food from their balcony. The solidarity baskets may include a place card, "Those who can, put something in, those who can't, help yourselves," which has encouraged more residents leaving pasta, sugar, coffee, and cans of tuna in the baskets, for those in need to take.

Read more here.
IHC Global Blog: Property Rights, Culture, and Context at WUF 10
IHC Global posted a new blog on one of the two networking events it convened at the World Urban Forum in Abu Dhabi, February 8-13, 2020. The panel, "Property Rights, Culture, and Context," engaged experts from Habitat for Humanity International, Huairou Commission, UN-Habitat/Global Land Tool Network, the World Bank, and IHC Global on the complexity of the nexus between property rights and culture in local contexts around the world. The blog identifies challenges of this complicated subject and the innovative solutions and insight proposed by the panelists. 

Read more here.
In The News and Around the Web
  • Uganda's Lockdown Impairs Mobility of Pregnant Women:   Uganda has barred vehicle travel to contain coronavirus, but the ban has been deadly for pregnant women trying to reach the hospital.
  • Taiwan's Civic Technology Helps Contain Coronavirus :   Taiwan's fusion of technology, activism, and civic participation is a model for the rest of the world to contain coronavirus.
  • Africa's Micro Entrepreneurs Will Need Government Relief:  Africa's informal business owners and daily wage workers will need a safety net during the lockdowns.
  • WHO Expected to Announce End of Ebola Outbreak: On Sunday, the World Health Organization is expected to announce that the end of the second largest Ebola outbreak is over.
This Week In Photos
  • The End of Wuhan's Lockdown:  Wuhan has ended its lockdown and thousands of people have crowded the streets.
  • London's Disposable Gloves :   Photographer Dan Giannopoulos photographed discarded disposable gloves in London to document the anxiety of the times.
  • Socially Distancing Has Brought Animals Out to the Streets:  Without humans around, animals are taking back city streets.
  • New Orleans Art and Coronavirus : Coronavirus graffiti artwork has popped up in New Orleans
Mountain goats in Wales roam the streets after the United Kingdom announced a lockdown.
( Photo CreditChristopher Furlong/Getty Images)
The current crisis underscores the vital importance of livable cities globally.  Even, now the mobility of disease within and between urban centers is   IHC Global helps focus global attention on the vital interconnectedness of cities.  Now more than ever, we need your support and your voice. 

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