As most businesses and organizations tighten their financial belts in these times of economic turmoil, the head of the United Nations agency tasked with ensuring adequate shelter for all today praised its oversight board for approving a record-breaking budget hike.
“We requested a total of $356 million including a general purpose budget of $66 million representing an increase of 32 per cent,” Anna Tibaijuka, Executive Director of the UN Human Settlements Programme (UN-HABITAT), said at the close of the agency’s yearly Governing Council meeting in Nairobi, Kenya.
Noting that this was the highest budget hike in the history of UN-HABITAT, Ms. Tibaijuka said that it “shows the confidence of the Governing Council in our work.”
Ms. Tibaijuka pointed to the signing of agreements with six financial institutions to create pilot house financing schemes, as well as the passing of a breakthrough resolution calling for governments to support UN-HABITAT’s work on human settlements development in the occupied Palestinian territories, as some of the achievements of the week-long meeting.
In her farewell speech as the head of UN-HABITAT, the Executive Director also underscored the improvements the agency has made under her stewardship.
“We now have well-established flagship reports, and our findings and conclusions about urbanization and the slum challenge are beginning to influence the work of other UN agencies and partners, including the press,” she said.