UN-HABITAT in Myanmar

un habitatThe Programme for Development and Rehabilitation of Community in Ethnic Minority Area in Myanmar. Valangpi Village, Matupi Township, Chin State. Photo: UN-Habitat Myanmar/Ruben Salgado Escudero

The United Nations Human Settlements Programme, UN-Habitat, is the agency of the United Nations dedicated to promoting socially and environmentally sustainable development of human settlements in an urbanizing world, with the goal of providing safer and inclusive human settlements.

UN-Habitat established its presence in Myanmar in the early 1990’s through 2004 during which time the agency pioneered the ‘People’s Process’ by establishing the first community led projects in the Dry Zone, Shan State and the Delta. Reentering after Cyclone Nargis, UN-Habitat continued to implement activities focusing on the improvement of living conditions of human settlements through improving access to basic services, climate change and disaster risk reduction, community development and environmental protection.

UN-Habitat’s current Country Programme is focused on:
1.    participatory urban planning, management and governance
2.    ‘pro-poor’ land, housing, and tenure
3.    improving human settlements
4.    post-disaster conflict recovery and reconstruction
5.    environment, resilience building and climate change

UN-Habitat currently has field offices in 13 townships and activities in several townships across the country. UN-Habitat is currently working in 700 villages located in 13 townships in the DryZone, Shan, Chin, Kachin and Kayah states, and Bago region.

UN Habitat  is providing technical assistance on issues related to the Habitat Agenda to its partners in Myanmar including the Ministry of Construction, Ministry of Social Welfare Relief and Resettlement, Ministry of Environmental Conservation and Forestry, Ministry of Livestock, Fisheries and Rural Development, and Ministry of Agriculture and Irrigation.

In 2012 and 2013, UN Habitat intensified its support through technical assistance to several ministries and stakeholders in policy and strategy development and capacity building in the areas of urban planning and management, disaster risk reduction, environmental protection and climate change, land administration and management.

The overall portfolio of ongoing projects from 2012 to 2017 is USD 29.5 million in 52 townships.


Do you know that:

  • Proving Access to Safe Potable Water: UN-Habitat is working to improve access to safe potable water and improved hygiene by facilitating infrastructure improvements. These projects transfer and develop skills via hands on training through community driven development approaches. With the support of the Government of Japan and USAID over one million people in 1,200 villages in 20 townships will benefit.
  • Policies and Strategies of Long term Importance: UN-Habitat is supporting several ministries of the Government of Union of Myanmar through providing technical assistance for the formulation of policies and strategies. These include the formulation of the Myanmar National Building Code, National Housing Policy, Urban Planning Guidelines, National Urban Development Strategy, City Development Strategy/Plan, National Climate Change Strategy; preparation of a State of the Environment Report, Inlay Lake Conservation and Restoration Plan, Disaster Management Plans; earthquake city level risk assessments, and the establishment of land administration and management systems.
  • First Urban Resource Center: In 2013 an Urban Resource Center-under the Urban Research and Development Institute (URDI) was inaugurated by the Government of Myanmar, supported by UN-Habitat and the Government of Norway. URDI serves as the hub of urban planning and management and research and urban debate in a rapidly urbanizing era in Myanmar due to economic reform and transformation. URDI is equipped with a resource center providing access to a range of books, research and online materials. The center is intended to bring together government officials, researchers, technical experts and university students, serving as a common venue for learning, sharing and discussion.