The Government of Chad, with the support of UNDP and UN-HABITAT officially launched a housing programme last week aimed at improving the shelter and living conditions of urban poor.
Chadian President Idriss Deby officially launched the important programme on 7 March 2006. The project is co-funded by the government of Chad at a cost of US$ 11,828,351 and UNDP US$ 2,045,000 respectively, and executed by UN-HABITAT. At the ceremony attended by government officials, legislators, donor representatives and the public, UN-HABITAT was represented by Mr. Daniel Biau, Director of the Regional and Technical Cooperation Division, while UNDP was represented by M. Amaning Kingsley, the UN Resident Coordinator.
Mr. Biau praised the government of Chad and UNDP for their efforts in funding the programme and expressed UN-HABITAT support in implementing the programme. He cited the lack of genuine political will as the greatest barrier to progress in improving housing and living conditions of low income groups, particularly in informal settlements and slums. There was need for that will to address the issue in a structured, sustainable and large scale manner. He further recommended that transparent mechanisms and criteria be put in place for allocation of plots and housing to the urban poor and particularly to women.
President Deby pledged his support for the programme and requested UNDP and UN-HABITAT support to formulate and implement a similar programme in Doba, a secondary city located in the country’s oil extraction area.
The pilot phase of the programme slated for 2006-2007 is expected to attain 1100 serviced plots, construction of 100 houses and improvement of an informal settlement housing some 3000 families, among others.
The launch was preceded by was an international workshop on Urban housing and development: Challenges and opportunities organized by the Ministry of Urban Development of Chad with the support of UN-HABITAT.