Topic: 2023-Informal Settlements
Delegate Name: Kathryn Macey
Submitted to: United Nations Development Programme
Subject: Informal Settlements
As the world’s population grows and becomes increasingly urbanized, the issues presented by informal settlements have become more pressing. Housing development in urban areas has been unable to accommodate the influx of people with available and affordable housing. As a result, a growing number of people are forced to live in informal settlements, which are unauthorized by the government and often have unsafe and unsanitary conditions.
Ethiopia is committed to creating solutions so that urban populations are able to live in safe and secure environments. Sub-Saharan Africa is the region with the largest percentage of people living in informal settlements. A majority of Ethiopia’s urban population lives in what can be classified as informal settlements. Ethiopia and other nations with large percentages of the urban population living in informal settlements ask that the international community provide aid in order to address this issue.
Due to the diversity of individual countries’ needs, conducting a variety of targeted pilot projects within urban areas of countries in need of aid will provide a basis for recommendations for a broader program. The problems raised by informal settlements are so widespread that a wide variety of potential solutions are necessary. Countries have different cultures, different religions, and different governmental structures meaning that the solutions that may be successful in one region would not be appropriate for another. Piloting diverse programs across diverse communities can create a path forward so that we can provide the most effective solution for each community.
One example is the World Bank’s “self-help” model that provides property rights and access to services, without giving a means to build housing, for people in sub-Saharan Africa who are living in informal settlements. Another example is the Cities Alliance, a non-profit that works on addressing informal settlements, which works with national and local authorities to supply funding and facilitate urban planning. We should try these programs and many more, focusing on investigating a wide variety of approaches to solving this problem.
The UN established the Participatory Slum Upgrading Programme in 2008 to involve affected communities in the urban planning process. In order to achieve the UN sustainable development goal by 2030, more funding is needed from the international community to invest in affected communities. To improve and prevent the growth of informal settlements, it is imperative that the Participatory Slum Upgrading Programme be expanded so that the needs of a greater number of communities around the world are addressed. But in doing so, the results of a robust pilot project can lead the way forward to make sure that the enormous investment necessary is well spent.
Considering the growth of people living in informal settlements, Ethiopia encourages this body to act quickly to collect more funding so that pilot projects in various communities can begin. As more data is collected, the planning process for other communities will be better informed and, therefore, more efficient. To make a significant impact on the lives of the people living in informal settlements, these projects are dependent on foreign aid. The problem is urgent. The need is great. We must start now to aggressively address these issues and meet the challenge posed by rapid urbanization in countries like Ethiopia. Ethiopia looks forward to recognizing and remedying these issues in committee.
“Goal 11.” Department of Economic and Social Affairs, https://sdgs.un.org/goals/goal11. Accessed 18 Nov. 2023.
“The Participatory Slum Upgrading Programme (PSUP).” UN-Habitat, https://unhabitat.org/programme/the-participatory-slum-upgrading-programme-psup. Accessed 19 Nov. 2023.
Baye, Fentaw, et al. “Administrative Failures Contributing to the Proliferation and Growth of Informal Settlements in Ethiopia: The Case of Woldia Township.” Heliyon, vol. 9, no. 3, Feb. 2023, p. e13758, https://doi.org/10.1016/j.heliyon.2023.e13758.
“Cities Alliance.” Cities Alliance, https://www.citiesalliance.org/how-we-work/country-programmes/uganda-country-programme/overview. Accessed 18 Nov. 2023.
Thelwell, Kim. “Sub-Saharan African Slums: The Housing Crisis.” The Borgen Project, 2 Oct. 2020, https://borgenproject.org/sub-saharan-african-slums/#:~:text=The%20World%20Bank%20has%20funded,%E2%80%9Cself%2Dhelp%E2%80%9D%20models. Accessed 18 Nov. 2023.