Urban Safety through Local Government Capacity Building
Safety for the Poor?
Asia-Pacific has always been considered as the world’s
safest region. But things are beginning to change. Crime and the
fear of insecurity are slowly emerging as a serious concern in
some cities of the region.
People often assume that poverty leads to crime. But the reality
is different. The poor people are more vulnerable as a victim
of crime. Even a relatively minor crime can have devastating impacts
on their livelihoods.
At the same time, crime and the fear of insecurity deteriorate
their quality of life. It erodes the poor’s human, social,
physical and natural capital. This makes it harder to escape poverty.
The lack of income, for example, means that the poor cannot afford
protection, including private security services and physically
The lack of access means that the poor people live and work in
places where public services, such as street lightening, are minimal.
The lack of voice means that the poor get less effective services
from the police or other authorities.
In short, the lack of safety perpetuates the cycle of poverty.
UNESCAP and UN-HABITAT are working together to address the issue
of urban safety as an entry point for poverty reduction through
a joint regional project.
The project aims to help urban local governments and their partners
in the Asia-Pacific to initiate effective urban safety programmes
with and for the poor.
It will do this through various ways. One is to develop a knowledge
base on how best to do it. Another is to provide hands-on, practical
skills to operationalize it in reality. Another is to advocate
and to sensitize key stakeholders on the strategic importance
of addressing pro-poor urban safety.
Safer Cities Programme
more information, contact:
Ms. Laura Petrella
Acting Coordinator, Safer Cities Programme
P.O.Box 30030 Nairobi, 00100, Kenya
Mr. Yap Kioe Sheng
Chief, Poverty Reduction Section
Poverty and Development Division
UNESCAP, UN Building,
Rajdamnern Nok Ave.
Bangkok 10200, Thailand