Nepal earthquake rebuilding agency chief to speak at Hong Kong forum

The newly appointed head of Nepal’s reconstruction agency will deliver the keynote address at the opening plenary at the 5th Asia-Pacific Housing Forum in Hong Kong.

Prof. Dr. Govind Raj Pokharel was recently appointed CEO of the National Reconstruction Authority to lead the rebuilding and rehabilitation of Nepal, following this year’s devastating earthquakes. He is also Vice Chairperson of the National Planning Commission, which oversees Nepal’s development plans. Focusing on the urgent rebuilding need in Nepal, he will address delegates from around the world at the Housing Forum on 3 September.

“Nepal is facing many challenges as we strive to recover from major earthquakes earlier this year. Sound housing policies and improved construction methods will be an important part of the recovery process. I am looking forward to speaking at the Asia-Pacific Housing Forum in Hong Kong on our plans to rebuild Nepal, and on the way forward,” said Prof. Dr. Pokharel.

The Housing Forum is organized by Habitat for Humanity, which recently received a HK$3.5 million grant (approx. US$450,000) from the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region government’s disaster relief fund to support families whose homes were damaged or destroyed by the earthquakes in Nepal.

Combined with funding from other donors, Habitat’s earthquake recovery programs include the distribution of temporary shelter kits, earthquake rubble removal, construction of permanent houses, and safety assessments of damaged homes. The aim is to help tens of thousands of affected families. Additional funding is being sought to support the rebuilding of homes and communities in Nepal.

The Asia-Pacific Housing Forum is the region’s leading event for advocating for affordable housing solutions and decent shelter for low-income families. The event takes place every two years, gathering together major actors engaged in developing and delivering sustainable solutions for poverty housing issues. Under the theme ‘Building Impact’, this year’s forum expects to engage over 1,000 leaders and experts in the field of affordable housing, ranging from policy-makers, entrepreneurs, private sector businesses, academics to civil society players.

Other speakers at the event this year include:

Daniel Lam – Managing Director, Urban Renewal Authority, Hong Kong

Juan Du – Associate Dean (International and Mainland China Affairs), Faculty of Architecture, University of Hong Kong, Hong Kong

Matthias Helble – Research Fellow, Asian Development Bank Institute, Japan

Drs. Marja Hoek-Smit – Director, International Housing Finance Program, Wharton School, University of Pennsylvania, United States

Jonathan Woetzel – Director, McKinsey Global Institute, China

Fernando Zobel de Ayala – President and Chief Operating Officer, Ayala Corporation, Philippines

Renee Glover – former CEO, Atlanta Housing Authority; Chair, International Board of Directors, Habitat for Humanity, United States

For a list of speakers, further information and registration details for the Asia-Pacific Housing

In 2015 the expanded Housing Forum will include satellite events to be held simultaneously in two large urban centers – Delhi, India; and Manila, in the Philippines.

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