First joint conference of the Africa, Caribbean and Pacific Group of Countries (ACP) co-hosted by UN-HABITAT, the European Commission (EC) and the ACP Secretariat at the UN Headquarters in Nairobi, Kenya, 8 – 10 June 2009
This conference is the first joint initiative of the EC, the Brussels-based ACP Secretariat and UN-HABITAT. Already, over 200 delegates from more than 50 countries are expected in Nairobi to discuss the challenges of urbanisation and poverty reduction for millions of slum dwellers in Africa, the Caribbean and the Pacific regions. Those coming include many ministers, mayors, other senior officials and experts.
As the global financial crisis bites harder, world economic growth slows and climate change problems pose ever greater threats, we are already seeing the impact on the world’s poorest and most vulnerable, especially urban slum dwellers. This situation threatens to undo and possibly reverse gains already made towards achieving the Millennnium Development Goals (MDGs) in towns and cities.
The discussions will build upon a the Participatory Slum Upgrading Programme launched last year for 30 ACP countries financed by the European Commission through EuropeAid with 4 million euros through the Intra ACP Fund.
During the first two days delegates will deal mainly with technical issues affecting urbanisation and poverty reduction and also discuss the expansion of the Programme to all 79 ACP countries.
Today there are approximately 1 billion people living in slums and squatter settlements in the world. Slum prevalence is highest in sub-Saharan Africa (62 percent), followed by south Asia (43 percent), east Asia (37 percent), and Latin America and the Caribbean (27 percent).
Financing for affordable housing and related infrastructure is critical to improving human settlements for the world’s poor.
It is therefore necessary to develop and apply innovative mechanisms and instruments for financing slum upgrading, affordable housing and related infrastructure for the poor.
“One out of every three people living in cities of the developing world lives in a slum.” – State of the World’s Cities 2008/9
The high-level ministerial session on the third day, will issue a joint declaration and plan of action.