Exhibit in Geneva showcases low-cost houses for displaced people

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Exhibition of post-disaster housing

An exhibit showcasing some of the latest developments in easy to build, affordable and effective housing for people displaced by disasters opened in Geneva on Monday.

The exhibit, hosted by the UN Economic Commission for Europe (UNECE), is to mark World Habitat Day observed on the first Monday of October each year.

One house, donated by Estonia is designed to be for dwelling and the other donated by Canada is a multi-functional unit which can serve as a hospital or school.

Sven Alkalaj, UNECE Executive Secretary, thanked the governments of the two countries for providing the model houses and for their support in preparing for the exhibit and related meetings in Geneva.

"There can be no doubt about the need for housing of this type. Disasters, both human and natural causes can devastate a country's housing stock. To provide just a few recent examples, the 2010 earthquake in Haiti left 1.5 million people homeless, the 2011 earthquake and tsunami displaced over 300,000 people in Japan and in Syria, 7 million people or one third of the population have been displaced from their homes by the current conflict." (29")

This year, the United Nations chose the theme of Urban Mobility for World Habitat Day.

It says access to goods and services is essential to the efficient functioning of cities and towns as they expand.

Derrick Mbatha, United Nations

Duration: 1'37"

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