UN chief urges provision of affordable housing to all

Wednesday, October 5th, 2022 10:00 | By
UN Summit returns to New York amid global crisis
Secretary-General of the United Nations Antonio Guterres. PHOTO/Courtesy

UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres has called for efforts to provide affordable housing to all.

“We need more urgent action and greater investment to provide affordable housing to all - alongside access to electricity, water, sanitation, transport, and other basic services,” the top UN official said in his message for the World Habitat Day, which falls on October 3 this year. Guterres said that a cascade of challenges - from climate chaos and conflicts to Covid-19 - is hitting the most vulnerable populations the hardest and rapid and unplanned urbanization is exacerbating many of these challenges.

He said that over 1 billion people live in overcrowded settlements with inadequate housing - and that number “is rising every day.” “To leave no one behind is the core pledge of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development,” Guterres said.

“This means making cities work for women and children and closing existing gaps: between the haves and the have-nots; within and between urban and rural areas; and within and between developed and developing regions.”

“Inclusive, safe, resilient, and sustainable cities and human settlements are crucial - and local action is key,” the secretary-general stressed.

World Habitat Day is marked on the first Monday of October each year, and is recognised by the United Nations to reflect on the state of towns and cities, and on the basic right of all to adequate shelter.

The day was first celebrated in 1986 in Nairobi, Kenya. This year’s theme - “Mind the Gap. Leave No One and No Place Behind” - puts the spotlight on the “widening inequalities in living conditions across the world.”                                                

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