Housing and slum upgrading are a key area of the UN-Habitat’s mandate.
An estimated 61.7 per cent of people living in towns and cities in sub-Saharan Africa today live in slums, while in South Asia slum dwellers constitute 35 per cent of urban population.
Despite a reduction in the percentage of urban population living in slums, the absolute number of slum dwellers continues to grow. Fed by an accelerating pace of urbanisation, 863 million people are now estimated to be living in slums compared to 650 million in 1990 and 760 million in 2000. The achievement of the Millennium target does not lessen the need to improve the lives of the urban poor and to curb the increase in numbers of slum dwellers.
Launched in 2008, the Participatory Slum Upgrading Programme seeks to reduce by half the number of people living in slum areas by the year 2020. The programme is working to improve the living conditions of the most vulnerable living in towns and cities.
Currently, 63 cities in 38 ACP countries countries participate in the slum upgrading programme.