Habitat for Humanity International and UN-Habitat enter partnership to address global poverty
Collaboration will focus on adequate housing, land and basic services issues
ATLANTA (September 24, 2014) — Recognizing adequate shelter as key to the eradication of poverty, the United Nations Human Settlements Programme and Habitat for Humanity International have signed a memorandum of understanding to promote housing solutions worldwide through advocacy, engagement and awareness.
UN-Habitat and Habitat for Humanity will address the challenges of urbanization and promote socially, economically, culturally and environmentally sustainable cities and human settlements through pro-poor, gender-responsive solutions that increase access to land and security of tenure, adequate housing and basic services, including neighborhood upgrading. The organizations will also collaborate on efforts focused on housing needs in disaster response and risk reduction.
“By building upon the existing experience of each organization, we will multiply our positive impact on global housing and human settlements,” said Jonathan Reckford, CEO of Habitat for Humanity International. “We are pleased to formalize our strong partnership with UN-Habitat and leverage our shared interest in healthy human settlements and sustainable urbanization to create opportunities for a world where everyone has a decent place to live.”
As part of the new memorandum, the two organizations will also explore collaboration in the Participatory Slum Upgrading Programme, an initiative in Africa, the Caribbean and the Pacific, to improve the living conditions of the urban poor. As a representative of Civil Society Organizations in the World Urban Campaign, a consensus-building and advocacy platform for the New Urban Agenda, Habitat for Humanity has worked closely with UN-Habitat since the United Nations established the program in 1976. Further, Habitat for Humanity and UN-Habitat may jointly sponsor and coordinate additional global and regional housing forums to promote knowledge sharing of housing experiences and innovations.
The priorities of the new agreement coincide with the themes that emerged from the first session of the Preparatory Committee for the 2016 United Nations Conference on Housing and Sustainable Urban Development (Habitat III).
“Given the integral role housing plays in sustainable cities and human settlements, housing issues – including security of tenure and access to basic services – must continue to be prominently featured throughout Habitat III if that turning point is to end poverty throughout the world,” said Jane Katz, director of International Affairs and Programs at Habitat for Humanity International. “We are excited for the opportunity to deepen our engagement and active participation with the preparations leading up to Habitat III and ensure, as we broaden the focus to include sustainable cities, that housing and basic services are prioritized.”
About Habitat for Humanity International
Habitat for Humanity International’s vision is a world where everyone has a decent place to live. Anchored by the conviction that housing provides a critical foundation for breaking the cycle of poverty, Habitat has helped more than 4 million people construct, rehabilitate or preserve homes since 1978. Habitat also advocates to improve access to decent and affordable shelter and supports a variety of funding models that enable families with limited resources to make needed improvements on their homes as their time and resources allow. As a nonprofit Christian housing organization, Habitat works in more than 70 countries and welcomes people of all races, religions and nationalities to partner in its mission. To learn more, donate or volunteer visit habitat.org.