Since 2015 UN-Habitat provides technical assistance to the national and local government of Guinea-Bissau on Policies, Plans and Strategies related to Housing, Sustainable Urban Development, Slum Upgrading and Urban Resilience for climate change. More specifically, UN-Habitat has chosen to work on the following axes:

  • Support for strengthening the legal and institutional framework and the preparation of urban development instruments for sustainable urban development
  • Promoting the urban resilience
  • Improvement of informal settlements and promotion of a more equitable urban development, through the development of infrastructure and basic urban services
  • Transform Guinea-Bissau cities in resilient and inclusive urban centres as to the effects of climate change
Population (2018)
Total value of projects
US$ 760,000
No. of projects (2018 - 2019)
Total: 2

Information regarding the urban situation in Guinea-Bissau is scarce and the few existing ones are outdated. In 1997 only 22,5% of the population lived in urban areas. In 2015 this number reached 42,16%, highlighting a challenging scenario regarding the urban situation, as seen in Table 1 below (INE, 2015).

The urban infrastructure of Guinea-Bissau is scant, and its maintenance is practically non-existent. In the Country Capital, while the rural exodus intensifies and the population increases considerably, reaching 25% of the national population, the city and other main urban centres continue to lack functional equipment.

2 Municipalities implemented the City Resilience Action Planning Tool (CityRAP) aimed at developing the capacity of local governments to understand and plan actions to build urban resilience
182 people involved in the development of the City Resilience Action Planning Tool (CityRAP)  (97 in Bafatá and 85 in Bolama)
Urban numbers
Urban Population (2018): 43.4%
Urban Growth Rate (2015-2020): 3.41%
The urban population annual growth rate is 3.44%

Leaving no one and no place behind

Hover over or click the icons to learn about UN-Habitat's work on social inclusion here.

The prioritisation of human rights addresses the structural causes of inequalities and discrimination in an integrated manner. Urbanisation can only be sustainable if it is human rights based, and living conditions can only be improved for all if everyone’s human rights are comprehensively promoted and protected. UN-Habitat applies the Human-Rights Based Approach to address inequalities and discrimination, reaching the furthest behind first by placing power relationships in human settlements at the heart of its analysis and action.

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Men and women, boys and girls experience cities in very different ways, and face various challenges and needs that cities have to address. UN-Habitat promotes the stronger commitment of national and local governments as well as other relevant stakeholders to work towards the realization of a world in which men and women are recognized as equal partners in development and enjoy equal human rights so that economically productive, socially inclusive and environmentally sustainable cities and other human settlements can be achieved more rapidly, completely and sustainably.

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Donors and partners

The success of UN-Habitat’s work in Guinea-Bissau is dependent on a number of successful partnerships. Through the programme, UN-Habitat identifies and mobilizes diverse international and local partners who can contribute to several initiatives promoted by the Agency in the country.

With the Municipality of Bissau, An MoU was developed and signed, to pave the way for the development of the Strategic and Operational Plan of the City of Bissau.

The Ministry of Public Works, Construction and Urban Planning (MOPCU), our key governmental partner in the country, has validated and signed UN-Habitat’s Country Programme Document to be implemented between 2017 and 2020.

Organizations of the Civil Society, such as the National Youth Council (CNJ) and the Network of National Youth Associations (RENAJ), have been actively participating in UN-Habitat’s activities in Guinea-Bissau. Our last activity, the Urban Walk, which took place on April 6, 2019 and celebrated the World Health Day (April 7), was attended by approximately 70 people, comprised mostly by young men and women.


Edinilson Augusto da Silva
National Technical Advisor
UN-Habitat Country Office