Abu Dhabi- Prime Minister Honourable Josaia Voreqe Bainimarama this morning launched the UN Habitat’s Resilient Settlements for the Urban Poor (RISE UP) flagship programme along the margins of the 10th Session of the World Urban Forum.
The RISE UP flagship  programme aims to improve the social-economic prosperity of urban poor communities  by reducing climate disruptions to livelihoods and protecting them from the monetary or social costs of climate disasters and enhancing service provision.
While launching the programme, the Prime Minister urged the international community to include the urban poor into the larger fabrics of the societies and cities.
“By doing so, you’re fostering a spirit of inclusivity that serves us all. Because when we involve those we seek to help in what we’re doing, when we talk less and listen more, I believe we can forge the greatest solutions of all," he said.
“With more and more of the world’s citizens living in unsustainable informal settlements and with climate change worsening as global temperatures rise, the need to “rise up” is clear to address the sustainability of our urban poor."
“Fiji strives for that future every day. We do so for our sake, particularly for those of our most vulnerable ones. But we also do so knowing that our successes are shared by our fellow global citizens”
“Every problem we solve adds knowledge and experience that strengthens cities and communities across our region and around the world. That’s why I’m so glad to be here today to mark another milestone in our global cooperation, the launch UN Habitat’s flagship RISE-UP programme.”
Prime Minister added that urban poor isn’t a Fijian phenomenon but a global challenge.
“The increasing ferocity of climate-induced disasters alone makes them deadlier, but that threat is compounded further by rapid urbanisation,” he said.
“If you’re living in an informal settlement without a sense of ownership or long-term security, it can be difficult or even impossible to invest in a safe and sustainable home.  
“I ask that we be advocates for the urban poor, in word and in action. By doing so, we’re fostering a spirit of inclusivity that serves us all.”
Deputy Executive Director of the UN-HABITAT Victor Kisob shared similar sentiments, saying the international community must seriously join forces to come up with concrete solutions and strategies to address urban poverty.
He said there was also an absolute need for sufficient funding to help the urban poor communities.
“The level of funding is insufficient to help vulnerable communities to effectively predict, adjust and adopt appropriate measures to address climate change at all levels.
“UN Habitat can only achieve the objectives of the flagship programme through mobilisation and coordination of large infrastructure investments, improved livelihoods, empowerment and capacity- development and the integration into larger city-wide and national frameworks, to name a few.”