What is UN-Habitat ?
Maimunah Mohd Sharif
UN-Habitat is the United Nations programme working towards a better urban future. Its mission is to promote socially and environmentally sustainable human settlements development and the achievement of adequate shelter for all.
Cities are facing unprecedented demographic, environmental, economic, social and spatial challenges. There has been a phenomenal shift towards urbanization, with 60% of the world population expected to reside in urban areas by 2030. In October 2016, at the UN Conference on Housing and Sustainable Urban Development – Habitat III – member states signed the New Urban Agenda. This is an action-oriented document which sets global standards of achievement in sustainable urban development, rethinking the way we build, manage, and live in cities. Through drawing together cooperation with committed partners, relevant stakeholders, and urban actors, including at all levels of government as well as the private sector, UN-Habitat is applying its technical expertise, normative work and capacity development to implement the New Urban Agenda and Sustainable Development Goal 11 – to make cities and human settlements inclusive, safe, resilient and sustainable.
Message from UN-Habitat Regional Office for Asia and the Pacific - Fukuoka
UN-Habitat, or the United Nations Human Settlements Programme, Regional Office for Asia and the Pacific is strategically located in Fukuoka, Japan, with approximately 20 staff members covering 28 countries. Under the Regional Office in Fukuoka, there are further 90 field offices in Asia and the Pacific with 1,800 field staff.
While achieving rapid economic growth, the development in Asia is coming at a cost, and the disparities in between regions/cities and within cities are growing. The rapid increase of urban population with influx of people coming from rural areas to cities is not keeping pace with the development of infrastructure and basic services in a number of cities. These will lead to serious urban issues such as expansions of slums, increase in social inequalities, degradation of living environment, and burden to the natural environment. UN-Habitat is working to improve these issues and conditions through projects such as slum upgrading and poverty alleviation, improving city environments while raising capacity of communities, and through policy advice to governments at both national and local levels.
Asia and the Pacific is a region prone to national disasters, while some areas are recovering from severe conflicts. The super typhoon in the Philippines and the earthquake in Nepal, conflicts in Iraq and Afghanistan are just a few of areas where UN-Habitat is working on a number of housing and infrastructure rehabilitation projects. In particular,with contribution from the Government of Japan, UN-Habitat is implementing projects in countries like Afghanistan. Utilizing Japanese environmental technologies, we are also implementing projects in water and sanitation, waste management and disaster risk reduction.
It is our duty, our commitment and our great honor to implement these projects in quality and in a timely manner for the people of these countries which without these assistance would not have been able to achieve such results in a given time.