The Special Human Settlements Programme
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The Special Human Settlements Programmefor the Palestinian People




  • Governing Council resolution GC/19/18 (May 2003) mandates the secretariat of UN-HABITAT to establish the Special Human Settlements Programme for the Palestinian People and a Technical Cooperation Trust Fund.


Problem and Justification

  • The Report of the Executive Director of UN-HABITAT to the 19th session of the Governing Council ‘The housing situation in the Occupied Palestinian Territories (HSP/GC/19/2/add.3)” documents the deplorable conditions of human settlements in the occupied Palestinian Territories

  • 59,000 new houses are needed to reduce overcrowding

  • 71,000 dwellings require renovation or extension

  • The actual housing shortfall is even wider as accountmust be taken of the dwellings destroyed or damaged


Problem and Justification (contd.)

  • The housing deficit will take many years to redress unless the recent level of housing production, averaging less than 10,000 dwellings a year, is substantially raised

  • The absence of strong institutions, policy frameworks, systems of data collection, system of service delivery and agenda perspective of these

  • The Programme seeks to address these deficiencies. Its long- term development goal is to improve the human settlements conditions of the Palestinian and in so doing contribute in a modest way to reaching peace, security and political stability in the Middle East


Major gaps and constraints

The Report identified the following as the major gaps and constraints to be addressed:

  • Severe capacity constraints which limit the ability of central and local authorities, civil society organizations and the private sector to address human settlements problems

  • The inability of municipal authorities to respond adequately to the challenges of human settlements planning including land management, land-use planning, zoning, environmental planning, and other aspects of urban management

  • The lack of a clear human settlements focus among the large number and variety of non‑governmental organizations and international agencies in the occupied Palestinian territories


Major gaps and constraints (contd.)

  • The lack of an effective framework for delivering land to Palestinian households, making it difficult to assure land and housing rights

  • The limited remit of the specialized housing finance institutions, which does not go beyond mortgage lending

  • The lack of an integrated approach to human settlements as interventions tend to be sectoral

  • The limited use of participatory approaches to human settlements development and management


GC Resolution 19/18

  • The 19th Session of the Governing Council of the UN-HABITAT:

  • Endorsed the establishment of the Special Human Settlements Programme for the Palestinian people and the Technical Cooperation Trust Fund of $5 million for an initial period oftwo years

  • Urged the international donor community and all financial institutions to support UN‑HABITAT in the immediate mobilization of financial resources towards the establishmentand operation of the Programme and the Fund

  • Requested the Executive Director to report to it at its twentieth session on progress in the operations of the Special Human Settlements Programme, including progress in the mobilizationof financial resources for the Technical Cooperation Trust Fund


Long-term Development Goal

  • To improve the human settlements conditions of the Palestinian people and in so doing contribute in a modest way to reaching peace, security and political stability in the Middle East



  • Palestinian Authority, local research institutions, NGOs, UNDP, UNWRA and other international agencies with operations in the OPT as part of the preparation of the report on the Housing Situation in the OPT

  • The consultative process leading up to and including the Governing Council provided an opportunity for UN-HABITAT to engage with concerned Member States, Israel, and the Palestinian Authority


Programme Coordinator

  • On 1 March 2004, the Executive Director appointed Mr. Abdalla Abbas as the Programme Coordinator for the Special Human Settlements Programme for the Palestinian People

  • A Chief Technical Advisor (Jerusalem) and a Habitat Programme Manager (HPM) (Gaza) will assist the Coordinator in the implementation of the Programme


Proposed Objectives

(Provisional entry points to be validated, during Programme Definition Phase, through consultations with PA, UNOs and bilateral development agencies)

  • Institutional capacity building and strengthening coordination mechanisms

  • Promote affordable housing finance

  • Enhancement of capacity of research institutions

  • Support the development of a Palestinian Human Settlements Policy

  • Establishment of institutional framework for GIS–based Cadastre initially in ‘Area A’



  • Multi–stakeholder consultations, shelter delivery and urban management training seminars, strengthening mechanisms for urban planning and consultation on urban issues

  • Field testing of a commercial house loan product, micro finance instruments and community based mortgage mechanisms

  • Establishment of Palestinian Urban Observatory

  • Palestinian Human Settlements Policy, legislation on secure tenure, land use management, building codes,and shelter delivery

  • A Cadastre land registration system



  • The Programme is sequenced in two phases, beginning with a Programme Definition Phase (March 2004-December 2004) designed to situate UN-HABITAT institutionally, raise funds assess conditions and define elements.

  • The Programme Implementation Phase (January 2005-January 2006) is designed to achieve the above-mentioned objectives.


Implementation Strategy

  • The Programme will be anchored institutionally in the Office of the Executive Director of UN-HABITAT

  • The Programme Coordinator will be based in Geneva and will undertake regular missions to the Middle East, Nairobi and New York

  • UN-HABITAT together with UNDP will recruit a Technical Coordinator to be based in Jerusalem and an HPM in Gaza


Implementation Strategy (contd.)

  • The Programme will build upon the relevant initiatives of the Palestinian Authority and of development partners working in the OPT in order to avoid duplication

  • Particular attention will be paid to fostering synergies between the Programme and these initiatives as well as with Palestinian academic and research institutions working on human settlements issues and capacity building


Financial Resources

  • A contribution amounting to USD 100,000 by the Sultanate of Oman financed the field missions and the preparation of the Report of the Executive Director

  • The Technical Cooperation Trust Fund for the Programme established at a level of USD 5 million

  • In October 2003, the Government of the United States provided a contribution of USD 500,000

  • On 1st of March 2004, the Government of Sweden contributed equivalent USD 275,000


UN-HABITAT Contribution

  • UN-HABITAT will provide a total of USD 252,000in staff time to the Programme

  • Professional Staff of UN-HABITAT will provide specialized technical expertise that will help to advance the five objectives of the Programme as outlined above

  • In so doing, they will ensure that the latest tools, approaches and methodologies are being applied

  • In addition, UN-HABITAT will provide direct Programme support including fund raising, inter-agency networking, technical back-stopping, and administrative/ financial management








Technical Support

Building Institutional





Global Division, Training and Capacity Building Branch(Mr. G. Kebede, and Mr. J. Hogan

Promotion of Affordable Housing





Human Settlements Financing Division (Mr. C. Williams); Monitoring and Research Division, Urban Economy and Finance Branch (Mr. D. Okpala)

Enhancement of Capacity of Research Institutions



Monitoring and Researching Division, Monitoring Systems Branch (Ms. N. Bazoglu, Mr. E. Moreno and Ms. C. Auclair)

Development of a Palestinian Human Settlement Policy



Regional Technical Cooperation Division, Regional Office for Africa and Arab States (Mr. M. El-Sioufi)

Establishment of Institutional Framework for GIS-based cadastre



Global Division, Shelter Branch(Mr. F. Tebbal and Ms. C. Augustinus)


Political Support and Fund




Office of the Executive Director (Mrs. A. Tibaijuka andMr. C. Williams), External Relations (Mr. J. Mungai)

Technical Back-Stopping



Regional and Technical Cooperation Division, Regional Office for Africa and Arab States (Mr. A. Badiane,Mr. M. El-Sioufi, and Mr. J. Maseland)

Financial &




Programme Support Division (Mr. H. Verbeek and Mr. S. Chainulu)




UN-HABITAT Technical and Programme Support

(In Kind Contribution)


Monitoring and Evaluation

  • The Programme will be monitored and evaluated in accordance with UN-HABITAT established procedures

  • The PA, UNDP (serving as the UN coordinating agency) and UN-HABITAT will hold biannual tripartite meetings to review progress in the implementation of the programme and the overall progress towards delivery of outputs

  • Pursuant to resolution GC/19/18, the Executive Director of UN-HABITAT will report to the Governing Council at its 20th Session (May 2005) on the progress in the implementation of the Programme


Thank youfor your attention