The Building and Social Housing Foundation, an independent research organisation based in the United Kingdom, joined UN-HABITAT to celebrate World Habitat Day on Monday and present its two annual World Habitat Awards for programmes showing their exemplary commitment to improving human settlements.
Ms. Diane Diacon, Director of BSHF, travelled to Nairobi as a guest of honour of UN-HABITAT’s Executive Director, Mrs. Anna Tibaijuka, who referred to her as “my core partner in celebrating this day internationally”. Ms. Diacon presented the awards to the La Paz Post-Earthquake Reconstruction Programme of the Salvadorian Foundation for Development and Low-Cost Housing (FUNDASAL), in El Salvador, and the Eldonian Village of the Eldonian Community Based Housing Association Ltd, in the United Kingdom.
She cited the La Paz Programme for showing how successful community development can result from rebuilding homes and infrastructure after devastating earthquakes in 2001 claimed a toll of some 10,000 dead and injured, and resulted in the destruction of 164,000 homes and 41,000 businesses. A further 105,000 homes were partially damaged. The Eldonian Community Based Housing Association was cited for its community-inspired and led urban regeneration that has provided housing and employment for local people in an attractive environment.
The World Habitat Awards were established in 1985 and are given annually to projects that provide practical and innovative solutions to current housing needs and problems. One award is for a project in the global north and the other for a project in the global south. An award of £10,000 is presented to each of the two winners at UN-HABITAT’s annual global celebration of World Habitat Day.
The BSHF was recently awarded associative status of the United Nations Department of Public Information for the provision of information and awareness raising on a range of human settlements issues in support of UN-HABITAT. For details on the World Habitat Awards see http://www.bshf.org/
Mrs. Tibaijuka herself also presented UN-HABITAT’s own 2004 Habitat Scroll of Honour Awards to a group of selected individuals and organizations for their commitment to the cause of human settlements development. See 2004 award winners .