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Nairobi, 20 Jul 06
UN-HABITAT is teaming up with humanitarian partners in the NGO world and the United Nations in a new drive to improve the effectiveness and accountability of disaster response, and provide better shelter delivery for the victims of conflict or natural disasters.

The agency joined a number of humanitarian actors, including Catholic Relief Service (CRS), World Vision, World Concern, the Regional Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) and UNICEF to hold two three-day training sessions for humanitarian workers in Nairobi, Kenya based on the ‘Sphere’ approach. The Sphere Project, which was launched in 1997 by a group of humanitarian NGOs and the Red Cross and Red Crescent movement is an international initiative aimed at improving the effectiveness and accountability of disaster response actors. UN-HABITAT urged its partners to always keep shelter priorities in mind in post-crisis situations.

This joint effort provided on a voluntary basis from the above organizations, was perceived by participants as a success and an inspiration for future collaboration between UN-HABITAT and the humanitarian community.

UN-HABITAT, with rehabilitation work underway in many countries around the world from the Indian Ocean countries hit by a devastating tsunami, to survivors of the Pakistan earthquake, or cities recovering from war damage in the Balkans, is mandated through the Habitat Agenda to take the lead in disaster, mitigation, and post-disaster rehabilitation capabilities in human settlements.

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