This animated video shows the importance of strengthening the resilience of the urban poor in Asia and the Pacific.

The urban poor are disproportionately threatened by climate risks, which impact their lives, livelihoods, and well-being. Strengthening their resilience will require integrated interventions across six policy areas (social protection, public health, livelihood, housing, community infrastructure, and urban planning) at different scales (household, community, and city levels). Three enabling factors – capable, accountable, and responsive governance; climate and urban data; and climate and urban finance − need to be put in place to ensure that pro-poor climate resilience solutions promote transformational change to address the underlying drivers of vulnerability. 


Regular flooding coupled with increase in saltwater intrusion has affected Maria’s and her brother Ping’s livelihoods, forcing them to leave the countryside for the city.

Their goal: to find better opportunities so they can support their family.

However, Maria and Ping found a different set of climate-related challenges when they moved to the city.

Ping worked as a daily wage earner in construction, where he is exposed to heat stress and rising temperature.

While Maria sells fruits at the wet market which is prone to flooding due to changing rainfall patterns.

To save money, Ping and Maria stay at an informal settlement far from health facilities and other basic services.

Their house has limited access to clean water and electricity and is prone to flooding, strong winds, and extreme heat.

The urban poor like Maria and Ping are already vulnerable to the impacts of extreme weather events. Climate change will increase the frequency and intensity of such extreme weather events, thus making it difficult for the urban poor to come out of poverty.

As Asia and the Pacific cities grow rapidly, at least 596 million people living in urban slums like Maria and Ping will face increasing risks due to climate change.

Various stakeholders need to work together to strengthen the resilience of the urban poor.

Social protection interventions need to have better targeting of the urban poor and respond to increasing climate shocks and stresses.

Investments should support underlying vulnerability through resilient livelihoods, regular income, promotion of savings, and skills enhancement.

Assistance can be provided to the urban poor so they can access affordable yet resilient housing in a safe location.

Community infrastructure should be built in consultation with residents, strategically located, and climate-proofed in response to changing rainfall patterns and increasing temperature. Green solutions can be adopted when possible.

Health interventions should include protecting workers exposed to heat stress.

Finally, urban planning should consider changing hazard patterns to limit the exposure of urban poor households and communities and reduce their vulnerability to the impacts of climate change and disasters.

Integrated interventions along social protection, public health, livelihood, housing, urban planning, and community infrastructure are needed at different scales to build resilience of the urban poor.  

This integrated approach should be supported by capable, accountable, and responsive governance; adequate data and information; and dedicated climate finance to support programs and services.

We have the chance to ensure that the urban poor like Maria and Ping are better able to withstand climate change-induced shocks and stresses by advancing inclusive and resilient urban development to support them.

What are you going to do?