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UNDP and Habitat sign Memorandum of Understanding

21 December signing ceremony: (left) Jens Wandel, UNDP Deputy Regional Director and Director, Bratislava Regional Centre with Don Haszczyn, Area Vice President for Europe and Central Asia, Habitat for Humanity.

The United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) and Habitat for Humanity’s office for Europe and Central Asia entered into a partnership Memorandum of Understanding (MOU). Habitat for Humanity is an international nonprofit organization dedicated to the cause of eliminating poverty housing by building and renovating homes.

The purpose of the MOU is to provide a framework of cooperation and facilitate collaboration between the parties in areas of common interest, such as energy efficiency improvement of multi-family dwellings and public and local community buildings, as well as the mobilization of citizens for the formation of housing and condominium associations. Especially vulnerable groups, like the Roma, are of specific interest to both parties.

The collaboration between UNDP and Habitat for Humanity is based on the mutual recognition of the expertise in the broader area of energy efficiency improvements of the aforementioned public infrastructure, as well as the potential for addressing key issues such as climate change, lack of social cohesion, unsafe and unhealthy shelter conditions, lack of building maintenance, fuel poverty, attitudinal change contributing to energy efficiency, unemployment and poverty that affect many countries of the Europe and Commonwealth of Independent States region.

The partners plan to jointly organize the Europe and Central Asia Housing Forum in 2011 in Budapest at the European Youth Centre Budapest from the 4th to the 6th of April, 2011 as one of the first practical collaboration activities. For the first time, housing decision makers, professionals, policy makers and other major stakeholders are aiming to “build” a more sustainable and resilient housing future for the Europe and Central Asia region. The forum will address key issues - the economic crisis, the environment, development, vulnerable populations, and disaster prevention - to create an evidence-based agenda for promoting and achieving a vision for a sustainable housing sector in this region.

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What is next?
Habitat wants people not only to read about poverty housing but do something to fight it. You can support Habitat’s work in Europe and Central Asia in a number of ways. Here are some examples:

• Visit our donations page to support projects in Europe and Central Asia.
• Go to country profile pages to learn about other programs in Europe and Central Asia.

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