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Nairobi, 17 Jan 06

The Algerian Government is to build one million housing units to ease accommodation problems in the country.

Algeria’s new Permanent Representative to UN-HABITAT, Mr. Ali Benzerga, made the announcement when he presented his credentials to UN-HABITAT’s Executive Director, Mrs. Anna Tibaijuka, on 13 January.

Briefing Mr. Benzerga on the activities of UN-HABITAT, Mrs. Tibaijuka said that there had been increasing support to the organization in recent years. She said that the problem of slum growth was a worldwide phenomenon and called for concerted efforts to combat it. She also informed the envoy that UN-HABITAT was working with several Algerian NGOs and youth groups.

Mrs. Tibaijuka said that Algeria had been very supportive of UN-HABITAT’s activities and expressed the hope that the appointment of Mr. Benzerga would ensure even greater support for the agency particularly in the area of voluntary assessed contributions. “I hope that your arrival will add new zeal and new vigour in the relationship between Algeria and UN-HABITAT,” she said.

Mrs. Tibaijuka also briefed the envoy on UN-HABITAT’s Water and Sanitation programme. She said water and sanitation service delivery was the first entry point for improving slums.

The Executive Director explained the role of the World Urban Forum (WUF) in promoting UN-HABITAT’s objectives and invited Mr. Benzerga and other members of the Committee of Permanent Representatives to fully participate at the Third World Urban Forum to be held in Vancouver, Canada, from 19-23 June 2006.

Earlier on Friday, Mrs. Tibaijuka also received the credentials of the new Permanent Representative of the Republic of Korea to UN-HABITAT, Mr. Yum Ki-syub.

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