Over two years preceding the global outbreak of Covid-19, UN-Habitat and more than 130 stakeholders from over 40 international organizations contributed to the Urban-Rural Linkages: Guiding principles and framework for action (URL-GP) initiative. There was broad consensus that resilient and inclusive urban-rural linkages are key to implementation of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development including the SDGs under the call to “Leave No One Behind “and the New Urban Agenda (NUA) call to “Leave No Place Behind.”
Stakeholders agreed to 10 principles and 11 fields of action coming from different sectors and thematic areas of focus. It has become evident that urban-rural flows of people, goods, services, resources and capital must be considered more carefully in the short, intermediate and long-term response to COVID-19.
Since COVID-19 knows no borders and given the mobility of people that will be very difficult in some places to halt, there must be an integrated urban and rural approach to the COVID-19 response. This integrated approach is what the guiding principles and framework for action of the URL-GP were designed for, to assist governments and their private sector and civil society partners with assessment, planning and policy development tools. In the context of the COVID-19 crises, URL-GP therefore can be a useful tool for governments and other stakeholders.
The issue brief outlines relevant principles and Covid-19 relevant actions. While most principles are appropriate for the rehabilitation phase to come, four of the ten guiding principles seem especially relevant for the early emergency response phase, including: Locally grounded interventions (GP1), Integrated governance (GP2), Do no harm and provide social protection (GP7), Data driven and evidence based (GP10).