Envisioning socially and environmentally sustainable cities, UN-Habitat supports 18 countries in the Arab region, with active programmes in 14 countries and on-going activities in 4 countries.
In 2011, the UN-Habitat Regional Office for Arab States was established in Cairo under a cooperation agreement with the government of Egypt.
UN-Habitat in the Arab region focuses on urban planning, urban recovery, adequate housing, policy and governance, public spaces, environment and climate change, housing, land and property rights; urban basic services and localisation of Sustainable Development Goals.
Even though the Arab region has major economic, cultural and social activities, rapid urbanisation can cause profound challenges to the region, including urban sprawl, poverty and lack of access to basic services amongst numerous issues.
The protracted conflicts in seven countries of the region led to widespread destruction to the built environment, such as damaged infrastructure, housing, public spaces and facilities, including schools and hospitals, in addition to causing massive waves of displacement.
The Arab region is one of the most vulnerable to the negative impacts of climate change. Extreme weather, including droughts, floods, sand and dust storms and intense heat waves, is currently more frequent in the Arab region.
"Here on my land, hope has returned to me. I have planted trees and created a small garden, and I can witness their growth. I am incredibly satisfied with my new house."
Barakat Hamad, returnee, Iraq