UN Habitat at a Glance
Areas of support: Urban Legislation, Land & Governance; Urban Planning and Design; Urban Basic Services; Housing & Slum Upgrading; Risk Reduction and Rehabilitation; Technical Capacity Building,Climate Change Vulnerability Assessments; MIS/GIS/IT; Humanitarian support through integrated life-saving Shelter, WASH and Community Infrastructure
The United Nations Human Settlements Programme (UN-Habitat) is mandated by the UN General Assembly to promote socially and environmentally sustainable towns and cities with the goal of providing adequate shelter for all. It is the focal point for all urbanization and human settlement matters within the UN system. UN-Habitat’s vision of “urbanization” encompasses all levels of human settlements, including small rural communities, villages, market towns, immediate cities and large cities and metropolises.
UN-Habitat renewed its presence in Pakistan in late 2005 following the devastating earthquake in the north of the country, facilitating the reconstruction of over 460,000 houses. At present, UN-Habitat is co-convenor of Strategic Priority Area on DRR/DRM of the One-UN Pakistan Programme 2013-2017, Chair of the WASH Working Group and is actively represented in the Shelter, WASH and Community Restoration clusters in KP & FATA.
Urban Legislation, Land & Governance:UN-Habitat prepared the Guide on Land and Property Rights to introduce the elements of land administration systems and ownership in a user-friendly format. UN-Habitat is currently supporting Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province in improving its land governance system through MIS and GIS-based digitized land records and in placing transparent, accountable and efficient Service Delivery Centres that will facilitate more efficient functioning of land markets and improved land management & local planning through clear and accurate records.
Urban Planning and Design:UN-Habitat’s sustainable urbanization initiatives focus on managing urban growth such that benefits equitably accrue to both urban and rural populations, especially the marginalized and vulnerable groups without compromising on the resources necessary for the survival and development of coming generations. These include establishing and monitoring baseline data and mapping on critical urban issues, creating multi-stakeholder based mechanisms for participatory urban planning and management and undertaking demonstration projects to highlight innovative ways for demand driven community development projects. UN-Habitat is providing technical advisory support to the Government at federal and provincial levels with regard to Land Use Plan, development of National Urban Policies, Cities and Climate Change Action Plans.
Urban Basic Services:UN-Habitat promotes pro-poor water, sanitation and solid waste management services in Pakistan. It advocates for equity and inclusion of urban poor in the coverage of basic services by utilities irrespective of their property rights. Slum improvement interventions with an emphasis on WASH and community infrastructure are currently undertaken in Karachi and in Hyderabad, with the purpose to reduce the incidence of polio and in Jacobabad for provision of urban basic services. UN-Habitat is supporting the association of municipal water and sanitation (WASA) operators through the Pakistan Water Operators Network and in establishing an Integrated Resource Recovery Center in Islamabad.
Housing & Slum Upgrading:UN-Habitat has carried out slums studies in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa and in Islamabad and is providing technical advice to Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province for a province-wide settlements improvement programme and in meeting the challenges of urbanization by drawing on its technical capacity in the urban sector and long-standing experience with large-scale community-driven projects.
Risk Reduction and Rehabilitation: UN-Habitat prioritizes resilience and good practices that reduce vulnerabilities and risks before and after disasters following the philosophy of sustainable reconstruction. A key area of our work is ensuring prevention, protection and early recovery of basic service provision and critical infrastructure for resilient shelter, water, sanitation, waste management and hygiene systems. A Climate Change Vulnerability and Adaptation assessment for Islamabad and district-level vulnerability assessments in Baluchistan and Sindh were carried outand currently in Khyber Pakhtunkhwaon DRR and resilience in the context of climate changeto inform improved policy and practices.
Management Information (MIS/GIS): UN-Habitat supported the capacity building of Population Census Organizations (PCOs) at federal and provincial levels through the provision technical expertise and hardware for upgrading GIS labs for improved and accurate statistical information. Thegeospatial mapping of 464 critical government/administrative buildingsin the most vulnerable 19 districts across Pakistan focused on the analysis of vulnerability of these buildings against disasters.
Humanitarian support through integrated Shelter, WASH and Community Infrastructure:UN-Habitat’s unique niche as an important United Nations agency in the humanitarian arena is through its focus on housing, land and settlement planning with the approach of “building back better”. UN-Habitat is actively engaged in providing humanitarian support, through life saving Shelter, WASH and Community infrastructure in response to natural disasters particularly floods and earthquakes, as well as support to Afghan refugees and ‘temporarily dislocated persons’/internally displaced population living in and among hosting areas/communities.