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Urban Development at USAID
Past, Present, and Future
When USAID was founded in 1961, roughly 34% of the world’s population lived in urban areas. By 2030, that figure will rise to over 60% as cities and towns become home to more than 1.4 billion additional people. Nearly all of this growth will take place in the developing world.Learn more
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Urban Gender Analysis and Strategy
As cities have expanded, urban services have often not satisfied the basic needs of urban residents, especially the urban poor. Services are plagued by poor planning and operating capacity, corruption, inadequate maintenance, unresponsiveness to user demand, and negative environmental impacts. These gaps do not affect populations uniformly: women, youth, the disabled, and growing numbers of refugees and internally displaced persons (IDPs) are most affected. Compared with men, women in cities face unequal access to work, housing, health, education and representation in urban governance.
USAID's Urban Policy
On October 31, 2013, USAID released its "Sustainable Service Delivery in an Increasingly Urbanized World" policy. The policy seeks to harness the opportunity of urbanization to better enable USAID to achieve its key objectives, including addressing climate change, improving global health, and achieving food security.
From USAID Administrator Rajiv Shah: “I am pleased to announce the release of USAID’s new Policy on Sustainable Service Delivery in an Increasingly Urbanized World. Building on decades of experience delivering results for urban communities, this policy offers principles for strengthening the effectiveness and sustainability of service delivery where the majority of the global population lives today. Indeed, more people live in urban areas today than in rural areas.