Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Getting Out of the Slums

About one billion people across the planet live in slums. International development organizations have been investing resources and efforts in tackling this issue, as one of the United Nations' Millennium Development Goals is to "achieve significant improvement in lives of at least 100 million slum dwellers by 2020." But despite some successes, the situation has continued to worsen as rural-urban migration and natural demographic growth continue to aggravate the problem.

Enter Israel's Weitz Center for Development Studies in Rehovot, which provides month-long training courses on upgrading poor urban neighborhoods and communities. The program is sponsored by MASHAV, Israel's Agency for International Development Cooperation.

In July, a group of 31 participants from 15 African, Asian and Eastern European countries came for a session, representing such countries as Kosovo, Montenegro, Ethiopia, Nigeria, Uganda, Myanmar and Thailand.

Israel - working in cooperation with the United Nations agency UN-Habitat for the past two years - has made a name for itself on the international circuit for its experience in upgrading poor urban residential areas.For the full story, read

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