From conflict and disasters to situations of mass displacement, safe and adequate shelter is a critical component of crisis response. Shelter will often be necessary to survival, and is an essential component in protecting the privacy and dignity of affected people. Shelter assistance can take various forms, from large communal emergency welcome centres to the construction of individual housing. Shelter is deeply cultural/contextual, and aid responders face thorny questions related to the temporariness, timeliness and cost of providing different forms of shelter assistance.

View of roofs of shelters in a camp in South Sudan

Photo: Nektarios Markogiannis/UNMISS

Key actors

Public platform and coordination mechanism, co-chaired by IFRC and UNHCR, aimed at providing safe, dignified, and appropriate shelter to persons affected by conflict and disaster

Co-lead of the Global Shelter Cluster, with a special role for providing access to adequate shelter in conflict-generated displacement

Co-lead of the Global Shelter Cluster, with a special role for providing access to adequate shelter in natural disaster situations

Latest discussions

Key references

Minimum standards helping humanitarian actors to help ensure adequate housing in humanitarian contexts

Organizational perspectives

Guide focusing on best practices and policy in sheltering, building the human resources capacity of National Societies, and ensuring that there is operational and technical support for the IFRC and its membership

Strategy including practical advice on how best to design a different types of shelters and uphold the rights of displaced persons

Tools for the job

Compilation of documents and templates for Shelter Cluster Coordinators, Sub-National and Technical Coordinators at country level

Information tools

Database of relevant documents to shelter coordination management, information management, and technical support and design in different contexts

Learning resources

Introductory online course on effective humanitarian shelter programming and coordination in humanitarian settings