The dynamic and populous Asia-Pacific region is home to 4.5 billion people and represents 61 percent of the world’s population. Comprising 58 countries that stretch from Iran in the West to the Pacific Islands in the East, the region is perhaps also the most diverse in terms of economy, society, culture, environment, and human settlements.

The UN-Habitat Regional Office for Asia and the Pacific (ROAP) was established in Fukuoka, Japan in August 1997, based on Resolution 16/25 (7 May 1997) of the then Commission on Human Settlements and a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) between Fukuoka Partners and UN-Habitat. The contractual relationship between the Fukuoka Partners (including the Fukuoka Prefecture, the Fukuoka City, the Fukuoka International Exchange Foundation, and the Cooperating Committee of the UN-Habitat Fukuoka Office) is defined in an MOU, which is reviewed and renewed every five years. The fourth MOU was signed on 12 May 2012 and is valid until mid-2017.

Since its establishment, the UN-Habitat ROAP has played an important role in bringing technical expertise and financial assistance to developing countries to cope with enormous and complex challenges posed by rapid urbanization, disasters, and conflict.

Role and main tasks of the office

The responsibilities of ROAP cover many aspects of human settlements development and reflect the mandate of UN-Habitat, combining operational activities (development and management of projects and programmes) and normative activities (advocacy, research, and policy guidance).

Technical operation projects coordinated by ROAP are geographically spread from Iran in the West to the Pacific Islands in the East, and span the entire spectrum of urbanisation and shelter development issues. Some examples of current projects include rehabilitation of urban settlements in Afghanistan, upgrading settlements and services in Bangladesh, post-disaster shelter coordination in Myanmar and Philippines, housing policy formulation and preparing city development strategies in Vietnam, informal settlement area upgrading in Mongolia, emergency services and shelter for IDPs in Pakistan, addressed the impact of climate change on cities in the Philippines and Cambodia, and rebuilding community infrastructure and shelter in Sri Lanka.

In all its project work, ROAP applies a people-centred approach to development that empowers the people to work together with their communities and governments towards better future. Building on the normative strengths derived from the UN-Habitat’s work globally, ROAP designs and implements projects and programmes at the country level.

ROAP also partners with a range of national and international agencies in developing norms, standards, methods and tools to address particular problems and to improve development standards.

UN-Habitat’s medium-term Strategic Plan for 2014-2019 acts as the global programme framework guiding the development of new projects and programmes, which address the priority areas of UN-Habitat and partner governments.  

In line with these, ROAP has designed a regional set of priority areas of work. ROAP also receives requests for specific assistance from developing countries, partner institutions in the region, or countries in crisis.


UN-Habitat Regional Office for Asia and the Pacific in Fukuoka, Japan
ACROS Fukuoka Building
8th Floor 1-1-1 Tenjin, Chuo-ku
Fukuoka 810
Tel: (81-92) 724-7121