UN-Habitat requests for backing from member states and donors

UN-Habitat seeks support. PHOTO | FOTOSEARCH

The UN-Habitat has appealed to donors and its member states to give more funding so as to help the programme deliver on their projects. Speaking during the executive board meeting in Gigiri Nairobi, UN-Habitat executive director Maimunah Mohd Sharif said the institution is low on funds to run most of the projects. Ms Sharif who took over the leadership of UN-Habitat in January 2018 said she inherited a bankrupt institution. “We had to put austerity measures like freezing recruitment,” she said adding that there were 34 senior vacancy positions yet to be filled. She noted that by December 31 2018, stern measures saw the deficit hit Sh500 million.

Ms Sharif lauded countries such as Kenya and Norway for their increased contributions. Kenya has already increased its contribution to UN-Habitat and Human Settlements Foundation Gains Account from Sh70 million to Sh100 million. Transport, infrastructure, housing, urban development and public works cabinet secretary James Macharia said Kenya, as a member state was committed to support efforts to finance the work of UN-Habitat. Mr Macharia further challenged the UN-Habitat to institute realistic action to mobilise resources as well as coming up with strong partnerships. Some of the projects being undertaken by the UN-Habitat in Kenya include the contributing to developing affordable housing. According to CS Macharia, rapid population growth and emerging urbanisation trends have constrained existing services and infrastructural development particularly in our cities and towns, causing acute shortage of decent housing.