Member States pledge over USD 161 million for sustainable urbanization

UN-Habitat pledging session
UN-Habitat pledging session

2 December 2020, Nairobi – Member States and other development partners pledged support of more than USD 161 million at a pledging conference organized by UN-Habitat.  The funds will finance the agency’s work to help countries make cities more inclusive, health, prosperous, green and resilient.

The event  Partner and Pledge for Sustainable Urbanization, opened with remarks by UN-Habitat’s Executive Director, Maimunah Mohd Sharif.

“Our goal is simple but ambitious: to make sure that cities have the right footprint to limit and manage the impact of climate change, protect the poor and vulnerable from the worst consequences of crisis and disasters, and create access to adequate housing for more than 1 billion people who live in slums or are homeless. But we cannot do this alone,” she said.

She urged Member States and other funding partners to contribute to UN-Habitat’s programme of work, approved in October, for core and earmarked programmes requiring a total of USD 205.9 million in 2021 of which USD 10 million will help improve global policies, knowledge and data to advance sustainable urbanization.

In a video message, UN Deputy Secretary-General, Amina J. Mohammed, underscored the importance of sustainable urbanization. 

“The global pandemic has put a bright spotlight on the urgency of to address inequalities and development challenges in cities.  By leveraging cities as innovation hubs for creative solutions we can build back a more just equitable and greener recovery to improve the quality of lives for all,” she said.

She called on Member States to provide financial support for the core mandate of the UN-Habitat and to bring public and private partners together to deliver the New Urban Agenda 2030. (The text of the speech can be found here)

The President of the UN-Habitat Assembly, Martha Delgado Peralta, highlighted the multi-faceted urban challenges that need to be addressed such as improving access to clean water, waste management, adequate housing and other basic services for the most marginalized communities.

 “Without adequate funding we cannot respond to these urgent needs,  I strongly urge all Member States to support the agency with non-earmarked contributions,” she said.

The pledging session was attended  by 127 participants including representatives from 38 countries and the European Union. Pledges of more than USD161 million in contributions and commitments were announced to finance global thematic programmes and country programmes to be implemented with the support of UN-Habitat to accelerate achievement of the urban dimensions of the SDGS. 

In his closing remarks, Ambassador Jafar Barmaki, Chair of the UN-Habitat Executive Board expressed his appreciation for the partnership of Member States and other development partners and for their pledges to provide financial support.

 “UN-Habitat has an important role to play to help countries manage the risks posed by rapid urbanization and address emerging urban challenges to make their cities inclusive, safe, green and resilient,” he said