Norway will provide UN-HABITAT with funding to the tune of USD 25.6 million to help implement a new medium-term strategic plan aimed at strengthening the agency, sharpening its focus on urban poverty reduction around the world, and improving its internal management.
A UN-HABITAT statement said that Ambassador Elisabeth Jacobsen of Norway, had signed the funding agreement with UN-HABITAT’s Executive Director, Mrs. Anna Tibaijuka, on Thursday 3 April.
It provides for the provision of NOK 62 million (USD 12.2 million) for 2008 and NOK 68 million for 2009, subject to Parliamentary reserve. At hand for the signing ceremony were Mr. Erik Berg, of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Mr. Per Nygaard of the Ministry of Local Government and Regional Development, and Mr. Thomas Eid, the Deputy Permanent Representative of Norway to UN-HABITAT and the UN Environment Programme (UNEP).
Ambassador Jacobsen said the agreement signaled the importance the Norwegian government attaches to the work of UN-HABITAT and the agency’s efforts to successfully implement its new Medium Term Strategic and Institutional Plan. She said Norway paid particular attention to the efforts relating to the focus area on excellence in management.
Expressing her gratitude to Norway, Mrs. Tibaijuka said: “To us the support given by Norway is a major vote of confidence and consolidating Norway as one of UN-HABITAT’s most important development partners. We will make sure that the funding provided is put to the intended use”
UN-HABITAT’s new plan provides a road-map that enables it to better assume its role in the coordinated implementation of the Habitat Agenda in a reformed UN. It gives concrete expression to its mission by strengthening it, sharpening the urban poverty reduction focus, aligning its work, and improving the agency’s management systems.
The new plan also aims to hone UN-HABITAT’s network of partners around the world. Key objectives include developing and advocating norms of sustainable and harmonious urban development. Others entail improving global knowledge and understanding of urban development issues, as well as building the capacity of governments, local authorities and other UN-HABITAT Agenda partners through technical cooperation and training.