The financial crisis of 2007/2008 had far-reaching impacts on developing countries, especially in cities which are more directly embedded in the global economy. Declining economic activity, negative effects on the terms of trade with the rich world and consequent job losses, as well as reduced remittances from family members working abroad, disproportionately affected urban households.

Many poor urban households are active in local production of food and related activities (e.g. food processing and street vending of food, compost making, supply of animal feed).