Havana, 11 August 2015 – Citizens of thirteen municipalities of Cuba will benefit from an agreement signed between representatives of the Swiss Development Cooperation and UN-Habitat to improve housing infrastructure and living conditions.

In addition, the cooperation aims at training local technicians and sensitizing the general public about good practices in building resilient housing.

The project named "Disseminating the results of the Housing Profile and building capacity" also includes the creation of “Mini Municipal Information Centres”.

Providing a space for debate and knowledge exchange on housing and shelter, the centres are geared towards local organizations and citizens, especially towards the more vulnerable groups.

The number of inhabitants in the thirteen municipalities totals one million people. Between 2012 and 2014, the Swiss Cooperation and UN-Habitat were partners in the launch of the "Development of the National Profile of the Housing Sector" project, involving the participation of national and international experts.

Working with urban actors for maximum impact

In consultation with civil society groups of various cities, this partnership helped to identify obstacles and key challenges to the access to adequate housing as well as identifying proposals to achieve this goal. The outcomes of the National Profile, which runs until May 2017, promotes the New Urban Agenda, an urban management tool that aims at shaping compact, connected, inclusive and integrated cities.

For maximum impact, the project will seek the collaboration of all urban actors – governments, residents, cooperatives, self-employed, state enterprises and institutions – to identify, design and implement solutions.

The thirteen municipalities that are part of the project are Manicaragua, Sagua la Grande, Remedios, Quemado de Guines, Placetas, Passenger Aguada, Cumanayagua, Jatibonico, Development, Cabaiguán, Palma Soriano, Holguin and La Habana Vieja.