UNHABITAT and Switzerland in 2020

UN-Habitat - Executive Board Meeting 29.06.2020

Statement by Executive Director :

As of 31 May 2020, UN-Habitat is managing 268 on-going projects worth approximately USD 665.7 million, which include 173 projects totaling USD 516.4 million generated from our field offices and 95 projects totaling USD 149.4 million managed from headquarters. We have a presence in over 70 countries worldwide. As of 31 May 2020, USD 74.5 million in projects have been acquired.

Despite our constrained financial position (which we will be discussing in more depth today), we were able to create an internal emergency fund of USD 1.3 million to activate quickimpact projects in 13 countries. The first-ever UN-Habitat global appeal was issued through our COVID-19 Response Plan, targeting support for 64 countries and a consolidated funding requirement of USD 72 million to meet urgent needs until the end of this year. Between new funding and reprogrammed donor resources, we are approximately 20% funded to date

Statement by Switzerland

Switzerland commends the Executive Director and UN-Habitat’s Management Team on its commitment to restructuring UN-Habitat, making it a stronger and more efficient organization, and for the results achieved so far.

Switzerland commends UN-Habitat for its swift reaction to the COVID-19 crisis both in terms of the duty of care towards its own staff and its contribution to the overall UN response through policy contribution and its project work in marginalized urban settings. My delegation joins other delegations in expressing its concern about the challenging financial situation of UN-Habitat, which asks for a realistic budgeting for 2021 and a revision of its programme of work.

Switzerland, through its different programs, enjoys a fruitful co-operation with UNHabitat in many countries such as Afghanistan, Egypt, Somalia, Vietnam and others.

Switzerland is also successfully collaborating with UN-Habitat in key international migration-related frameworks with the goal of empowering and leveraging the voice of cities and their access to migration policies and development platforms.

Switzerland support the Geneva Cities Hub, which has been created in March 2020 and aims to facilitate relations between cities and city networks around the world and the various actors in International Geneva. The Hub has successfully cooperated with the UN Habitat Office in Geneva and we see a lot of potential in a strengthened co-operation between the UN-Habitat Office and the Geneva Cities Hub.

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