Rapid urbanisation is a global phenomenon. The UN estimates that bij 2050 seventy percent of the world population will live in an urban area. ZOA has witnessed increasing numbers of refugees and IDPs moving to cities. Some examples of cities with enormous refugee and IDP groups are Kabul in Afghanistan, Amman in Jordan and Maiduguri in Nigeria. ZOAs mission to bring relief and recovery to people affected by violent conflict and natural disaster has shifted from a rural to an urban setting.
In the past years ZOA has been investing in urban programming. For ZOA to call an area urban there need to be more than 100.000 inhabitants but an urban area in order to use a different approach then rural programming, is easier to define with a number of characteristics. One of these characteristics is the density op people, buildings and infrastructure. This makes it difficult to find the most vulnerable people. The complexity of the market, land tenure and city regulations makes designing effective interventions more complicated. An opportunity is the higher level of connectivity, which presents possibilities for using mobile devices. In the urban setting there are more and sometimes conflicting levels of stakeholders and authorities to work with. Furthermore, there are more cultures and ethnicities living close together which can lead to conflict (diversity). In short, many, more complex factors affect ZOAs programs in urban areas.