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Pakistan & Zimbabwe UN Meets With Shelter Donors

UN Agency Meets Donors On Shelter Recovery In Pakistan And Zimbabwe

In a bid to raise funds to provide shelter for Zimbabweans who have been evicted from their homes and Pakistanis who have been displaced by the massive earthquake that struck in October, the United Nations Human Settlements Programme (UN-HABITAT) met with donors today in Nairobi, Kenya.

The President of UN-HABITAT’s Governing Council, Ambassador Wojciech Jasinski of Poland, together with the Chair of UN-HABITAT’s Committee of Permanent Representatives, Petr Kopriva, symbolically kick-started the consultation by pledging personal funds to build houses in Zimbabwe and Pakistan.

Opening the consultation, Secretary-General Kofi Annan’s Special Envoy on Human Settlements Issues to Zimbabwe, Anna Tibaijuka, cited an “urgent need to stabilize the shelter conditions of the poor people who were evicted and who have now been living out in the cold and in the open for almost six months.”

In addition, Mrs. Tibaijuka, who is also UN-HABITAT’s Executive Director, pointed to the “desperate need to meet the shelter demands of those affected by the earthquake in Pakistan especially now that winter has set in.”

UN-HABITAT has a number of proposals to help victims of the earthquake, which rendered more than 3 million people homeless, including one involving a special winterized shelter that incorporates materials that can be reused in the construction of permanent housing in the spring.

Similar materials are being used in Zimbabwe, where the Government has approved a UN shelter programme. UN-HABITAT said the initiative will not only help resolve the humanitarian crisis caused by operation Murambatsvina that led to large numbers of people still living in the open or in transition shelters but will also be critical in the distribution of other humanitarian assistance, including providing for the chronically sick and those with HIV/AIDS.

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