Adequate shelter is classified as one of the basic human needs and is vital to secure the efficacy of humanitarian assistance covering the other basic needs, as nutrition, medical care, water and sanitation and protection.
At the same time sheltering presents the most resource intensive and complex type of intervention, as it spans from emergency intervention through early recovery to reconstruction. In addition to the various technical issues that need to be resolved for each different context, dealing with land and property rights, institutional barriers, community participation and settlement planning present further challenges to address in humanitarian sheltering. Getting all that right is a huge task to achieve that calls for investment in research and capacity building initiatives contributing to develop and advance the sector.
The IFRC-Shelter Research Unit (IFRC-SRU) was established on initiative of the Benelux Red Cross Societies in cooperation with the IFRC Shelter and Settlements Department in Geneva, to build up technical capacities and resources in sheltering within the Red Cross Red Crescent movement that help improve humanitarian shelter response. Our Mission is to reduce shelter related vulnerabilities and risks of people affected by disasters through improved humanitarian shelter interventions.
The IFRC-SRU works through Projects, defined activities with a timeframe and budget, funded by various parties, including, EU and public institutions, philanthropic foundations and other donors, like National Red Cross Societies that contract our expert services for tailor made shelter developments for their operations. The Outputs of research, development and innovation are meant to serve the Red Cross Movement and other humanitarian shelter practitioners in the field to deliver a response that helps reduce shelter related vulnerabilities and risks of people affected by disasters.