The current Habitat Country Programme (HCP), Pakistan 2018-2022 has been prepared aligning it with the Pakistan Vision 2025, United Nations Sustainable Development Framework (UNSDF) One UN Programme (OP-III) and New Urban Agenda. It lays down the roadmap for achieving Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) in general and SDG 11 that aims to make cities and human settlements inclusive, safe, resilient, and sustainable.
The State of Pakistani Cities report reveals that 54 percent of the total urban population live in ten major cities of Pakistan. Cities, particularly the large ones, have seen enormous urban sprawl due to increase in population and change in land use in down town as well as in their periphery and are becoming extended part of the cities. As such cities are unable to meet the growing demands of basic infrastructure services and creation of gainful employment opportunities. The challenges therefore, are unplanned urbanization and lack of basic services. Overlapping institutional mandates, lack of infrastructure and fragmented management of municipal and industrial waste. Further, the urban challenges have been accelerated due to effects of climate change such as urban flooding and severe heat waves, affecting human health and urban economy.
The key objectives of the Habitat Country Programme, Pakistan 2018-2022 are the following:
- Promote socio-economic growth and eradication of poverty through enhancing municipal finance and turning local assets into economic drivers.
- Improving access to affordable housing, energy, water and sanitation and other basic services.
- Development of policies and regulatory instruments for sustainable urbanization.
- Reduction of the impact of disasters and climate change on human settlements for inclusive, safe, resilient and sustainable development.
The HCP is meant to operationalize the programme objectives over the period of four years (2018-2022) in the following seven thematic areas:
- Urban policies, legislation, land and governance: Foster effective policies legislation and regulatory framework through normative and operational support to national, provincial and local governments with respect to development and improving urban policies, plans, strategies, legislation and capacity building.
- Urban planning and design: Initiatives for streamlining procedures for effective urban planning and design at all levels of governments to establish an effective integrated planning and service delivery systems.
- Urban Economy: Creating sustainable and inclusive urban economy by promoting urban strategies and policies to strengthen the capacity of cities to realize full potential as drivers of socio-economic development. Supporting governments in expanding and better utilizing endogenous sources of revenue and introduce youth programmes to benefit from urban development interventions.
- Urban basic services: Strengthening the policies and institutional frameworks for better integrating and expanding access to urban basic services and supporting interventions in the area of water, sanitation and drainage, mobility, energy and waste management for improving the standard of living of the urban poor and environment. Promote public private partnership for effective and efficient delivery of urban basic services.
- Housing and slum upgrading: Improving access to adequate housing and living conditions of slum dwellers in particular and preventing the development of new slums. Facilitating federal and provincial governments in developing sustainable housing policies, strategies and programmes to promote access to affordable housing for all.
- Risk reduction and rehabilitation: Initiatives for increasing resilience to the impacts of natural hazards and man-made crises in an effective manner in terms of disaster prevention, management and disaster response especially promoting “resilient recovery”. Facilitating the implementation of policies, plans and strategies that contribute to the mitigation and adaptation to climate change at national, provincial and local level for resilient cities and human settlements.
- Research and capacity development: Improving knowledge on sustainable urbanization issues and develop capacity for formulation and implementation of evidence-based policies and programmes at federal, provincial and local levels. Support research and capacity building in all streams of knowledge related to urban planning development and management.
Habitat Country Programme is being implemented in close cooperation with governments, donors, other concerned United Nation agencies, civil society and private sector. UN Habitat is promoting innovative solutions to urban development challenges through Regional and International experts and is supporting capacity building of all relevant stakeholders.