UN-HABITAT’s Executive Director, Mrs. Anna Tibaijuka, this week expressed appreciation to the Government of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland for its support for the organization.
Mrs. Tibaijuka made the remarks when she received the credentials of the new Permanent Representative of the United Kingdom to UN-HABITAT, Mr. Adam Wood, who is also the country’s High Commissioner to Kenya.
She said the United Kingdom was one of the most important contributors to UN-HABITAT. She recalled that grants made by the UK Government through the Department for International Development (DfID) had enabled reforms to be carried out at UN-HABITAT that ensured not only the continuation of the organization, but also its upgrading to a fully fledged programme of the United Nations.
She also cited other examples of positive UK support, including the opening of the UN-HABITAT European Commission office in Brussels and UK’s support to UN-HABITAT’s slum upgrading facility.
Mrs. Tibaijuka said these developments had enabled UN-HABITAT to win back donor confidence. She expressed the hope that with the appointment of Mr. Wood as the Permanent Representative to UN-HABITAT, UK support would increase further.
The Executive Director went on to illustrate that the problems of urbanization in Africa were enormous and that these problems were compounded by the HIV/AIDS pandemic. She stated that by 2020, 51 per cent of Africa’s population will be living in cities, and that by that time 75 per cent will be living in slums, if nothing was done now to improve their living conditions.
Mrs. Tibaijuka presented the Permanent Representative with several UN-HABITAT publications, including the award-winning, The State of World’s Cities report.
Mr. Wood expressed the continued support of the UK Government to UN-HABITAT.