700 delegates attend 3rd Asia-Pacific Housing Forum in Bangkok

Today, more than 700 delegates met for the 3rd Asia-Pacific Housing Forum and Exhibition organized by Habitat for Humanity and the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies (IFRC).

Representing the Prime Minister of Thailand at the opening ceremony was Mrs. Sirirat Ayuwatana, deputy permanent secretary from the Ministry of Social Development and Human Security. She said: “The Thai government is committed to tackling the issue of substandard housing in Thailand, and sharing our experiences and successes with our neighboring Asia-Pacific countries.”

Philippines’ Vice President Jejomar Binay, the Forum’s keynote speaker said: “Problems will only increase in severity and scope. If we sit on our hands, things will only go from bad to worse. We need to mobilize and marshal all available resources.” He added: “We need to ensure every family lives in a decent and affordable home.”

More than 220 organizations from 35 countries are represented amongst the 700 delegates attending the Forum, drawn from governments, international and local NGOs, private sector, academia, civil society organizations, and local communities. The theme is ‘Sustainable shelter in an age of climate change and disasters’.

Housing Ministers from Indonesia and Fiji were also present, contributing as part of the ‘Thought Leaders Panel’ in the first plenary session.

Kemal Taruc, Indonesia’s Vice-Minister for Housing, stressed the importance of having housing-related government policies: “Legal and political frameworks must be in place first, as this makes it easier to maneuver the process of urban and housing development.”

The Asia-Pacific Housing Forum and Exhibition is a bi-annual conference on affordable housing for key shelter players in public and private sectors. It addresses the urgent and widespread problem of substandard housing in the context of building sustainable homes and resilient communities in a changing global climate. The 3rd Asia-Pacific Housing Forum agenda includes the need for workable long-term shelter responses to the impact of disasters brought on by climate change.

The 3rd Asia-Pacific Housing Forum includes an exhibition, showcasing financial and technical services and products that address shelter needs of marginalized and vulnerable low-income families. The exhibition will also display materials and shelter development services by suppliers of ‘grassroots’ green technologies and housing.

Notes to editors

Media interested in attending the Asia-Pacific Housing Forum,  setting up interviews with speakers/sponsors, or receiving photography are asked to contact hholloway@habitat.org / +65 9068 1892 or +66 879 710 174.

About Habitat for Humanity

Habitat for Humanity is a global non-government organization that welcomes to its work all people dedicated to the cause of eliminating poverty housing. Since its founding in 1976, Habitat has built, rehabilitated, repaired or improved more than 500,000 houses (October 2011) worldwide, providing simple, decent and affordable shelter for more than 2.5 million people.

3rd Asia-Pacific Housing Forum (APHF) sponsors

Government Housing Bank (Thailand) is supporting the housing forum as a Gold Sponsor, with Citi and Aditya Birla Group as Silver Sponsors. Other sponsors include SCG, The Imperial Queen’s Park Hotel, True Visions, Siam City Cement, Amway (Thailand), Ananda Development, BlueScope Lysaght (Thailand), INTL Global Currencies, Raimon Land,  JW Marriot Bangkok, Thai Airways and DHL.

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ABB
Asia Plantation Capital
Diamond Energy
Basf
City Developments Ltd
DNV-GL
Geocycle
Sindicatum
Olam