UN-HABITAT and the international development agency Action Aid last Friday signed a comprehensive cooperation agreement which will see the two organisations collaborate in wide ranging areas of mutual concern.
The agreement was signed by the Executive Director of UN-HABITAT, Mrs. Anna Tibaijuka and the Director of Action Aid International – Africa, Mr. Asenath Omwega. The areas targeted for collaboration include addressing the crisis of urbanization in Africa with specific emphasis on the implications for vulnerable groups.
Action Aid International (AAI) is an international development agency incorporated in the Netherlands with its headquarters in Johannesburg, South Africa. It works in over 40 countries in Asia, Africa, the Americas and Europe and states its mission as to “work with poor and marginalised people to eradicate poverty by overcoming the injustice and inequity that cause it”.
Under the agreement, UN-HABITAT will, among others, facilitate Action Aid International Africa's engagement in its global campaigns on secure tenure and urban governance. In addition, a number of activities are envisaged to be undertaken jointly to promote pro-poor urban development issues in areas such as land and property rights, and social services delivery systems.
“The initiative will, among other things, monitor the implementation of Habitat Agenda by partners including NGOs, and to facilitate the achievement of the Millennium Development Goals specifically, and sustainable development broadly in relation to the rights, needs and interests of vulnerable groups and the poor and excluded,” the agreement says.
The agreement also ties UN-HABITAT to develop jointly and share with Action Aid various materials relevant for promoting pro-poor urban development while on its part Action Aid will facilitate the mobilization of civil society and social movements of slum dwellers as well as supporting the strengthening and building of coalitions of local networks and social movements for the advancement of Habitat Agenda and MDGs.
UN-HABITAT's cooperation with Action Aid will enhance capacity of the urban poor in Africa to engage in policy process and advocacy issues to overcome social exclusion.