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Port of Spain, 12 Mar 13

A regional training and exchange workshop on the Participatory Slum Upgrading Programme (PSUP) is being held from 12th to 16th March in Port of Spain, Trinidad and Tobago.

This workshop brings Jamaica, St Lucia, Antigua and Barbuda, Trinidad and Tobago, and Haiti together to discuss the challenges and opportunities of participatory slum upgrading in the Caribbean and to develop country action plans for implementing the Programme.

The workshop will examine the unique opportunities and challenges for slum upgrading and prevention in the Caribbean. Compared with sub-Saharan Africa, for example, the Caribbean population is highly urbanized, the slum population is relatively small and access to basic urban services and housing is relatively high. However, land tenure insecurity, high rates of crime, environmental hazards, and poor institutional coordination and capacity present challenges for creating inclusive cities for all and enabling the participation of all stakeholders in achieving sustainable urban development in the Caribbean.

The workshop coincides with the Caribbean Urban Forum taking place from 13th to 15th March to enable PSUP participants to attend key CUF sessions and further increase regional exchange of experiences and strategies for slum upgrading and urban poverty alleviation.

Workshop participants include representatives of Ministries, Local Authorities, NGOs, private sector, academia and CBOs which constitute a 'Country Team' in each country that is responsible for guiding the planning, delivery and monitoring of the PSUP at country-level. Such a multi-stakeholder partnership is central to creating a democratic space for the full participation of all stakeholders in slum upgrading and urban poverty reduction, including women, youth and marginalized groups.

The workshop aims to exchange cutting-edge knowledge, best practices and approaches and tools for participatory decision making and human-rights-based slum upgrading and prevention. Country Teams will adapt the global PSUP tools to the country context and develop goals and targets for slum upgrading and prevention in line with realistic and results-based implementation plans for the programme at country-level.

The global Participatory Slum Upgrading Programme was initiated in 2008 by the African, Caribbean and Pacific Secretariat (ACP). It is financed by the European Commission (EC) and implemented by The United Nations Human Settlements Programme (UN-Habitat). Currently, over 100 cities in 34 African, Caribbean and Pacific countries are participating in the programme.

Based on a three-phased approach, the PSUP requires in the first phase the establishment of urban profiles to assess the challenges of slums and identify priority intervention areas. The second phase requires the elaboration of slum upgrading strategies and neighbourhood upgrading plans in preparation for phase three, implementation of upgrading projects in selected towns.

The Trinidad and Tobago Workshop is organized by UN-Habitat and builds on a successful regional workshop held in Mauritius in February 2013 for English speaking sub-Saharan African countries of Gambia, Namibia, Nigeria, Mauritius, and Uganda participating in the programme. Workshops for participating Francophone African countries and Pacific countries will take place in 2013.

The PSUP is a lead initiative of UN-Habitat with the goal to reduce by half the number of slum dwellers by 2020 and improving the living conditions in towns and cities to positively contribute to Millennium Goal 7D: "to improve the lives of at least 100 million slum dwellers by the year 2020".

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