UN-Habitat country head calls on Minister Mushahid

ISLAMABAD: UN-Habitat Country Head in Pakistan, Ms Bella Evidente, called on Federal Minister for Climate Change Mushahid Ullah Khan at his office and informed him of a range of climate change, sustainable urban, housing, sustainable land use planning and water & sanitation related activities and programmes initiated in the country.

During the meeting, she also briefed the minister about partnership programmes launched in the country and said that the UN-Habitat’s engagement in Pakistan began on a small scale in the 1990’s and expanded purview of its operations after the 2005 earthquake. During the period 2006-2010 through the rural housing reconstruction programme, 3.5 million were successfully moved to safer and better homes; 14,000 families were moved to safer places from hazardous land and over 55,00 houses were constructed by the women-headed households.

The UN-Habitat country head told the minister that the organization, at present, is actively engaged in humanitarian sectors including shelter, sustainable and climate-resilient urban planning, sustainable human settlements, disaster risk reduction, water, sanitation and hygiene.

Besides, the UN-Habitat is also closely working with the ministry of climate change on sustainable urban development, resilient cities, climate change initiatives, water, sanitation and hygiene, climate change resilience initiatives and solid waste management, she said.

The UN-Habitat is also working on Climate Change Vulnerability Assessment of Islamabad and ICT, Construction of Integrated Resource Recovery Centre in Sector G-15, Nationally Appropriate Mitigation Actions (NAMA) and Habitat-III and the National Report in Urban Development of Pakistan.

“Millions of Pakistanis have benefited from its programmes directly and indirectly in Pakistan and the UN-habitat is proud of serving poor people of the climate-vulnerable country,” Bella said.

Khan appreciated the UN-Habitat’s programmes and activities in Pakistan and said that assured her on behalf of the present government and the climate change ministry of all-out support in all possible forms to further expand network of its activities and programmes, particularly in the field of disaster risk management, clean drinking water and safe sanitation and help the country prepare for upcoming sustainable development goals (SGDs) that will replace Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) by end of this year.

The minister urged the UN-Habitat’s country head to focus on sustainable development goals in Pakistan. Because, making all governmental development initiatives and programmes in all ministries and departments sustainable development-centric is key to sustainable use of all the natural resources, particularly water and forest resources for meeting needs of the present generation without compromising needs of the future generations,” the minister argued.

She extended invitation to the Minister Mushahid Ullah Khan regarding the ‘Second Meeting of the UN Environment Assembly (UNEA)’to be held on May 23-27, 2015 in Nairobi, Kenya’s capital. She urged the minister to represent Pakistan at the important event to which the minister nodded and said he will attend the event. The Ministry’s Director General (Environment & Climate Change), Sajad Bhutta, was also present at during the meeting.

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