The United Nations Human Settlements Programme, UN-Habitat, is the agency of the United Nations dedicated to promoting socially and environmentally sustainable development of human settlements in an urbanizing world, with the goal of providing safer and inclusive human settlements. UN-Habitat established a presence in Myanmar in the early 1990’s through 2004 during which time the agency pioneered the ‘People’s Process’ by establishing the first community led projects in the Dry Zone, Shan State and the Delta. Over 2.1 million people were supported through developing community social infrastructure networks and facilitating access to safe water. The Community Water Supply and Sanitation (CWSS) and Community Initiative Support Facilities (CISF) programmes were implemented by UN-Habitat during that period. The agency also extended substantive assistance for the design of the Human Development Initiative (HDI) for UNDP & has partnered in implementation of HDI 1, HDI 2 and HDI 3.
Today UN-Habitat continues to implement several normative and operational activities focusing on basic access of services to settlements, while addressing cross-cutting issues of gender, disaster risk reduction, environment and climate change.
As part of normative activities, the agency is providing technical assistance on issues related to the Habitat Agenda to its partners in Myanmar including the Ministry of Social Welfare Relief and Resettlement, Ministry of Construction, Ministry of Environmental Conservation and Forestry, Ministry Livestock, Fisheries and Rural Development, and Ministry of Agriculture and Irrigation.
Myanmar, with the installation of the new government in 2011, is undergoing rapid transformation, providing tremendous hope for economic development among its citizens. The union government is making serious attempts to reduce poverty, initiate inclusive rural development and to address the impending urbanization of the country.