2.8 billion people are estimated to be affected by different forms of housing inadequacy, of whom close to 1.1 billion reside in slums and other informal settlements. At the current pace, by 2030, 40% of the world will live in inadequate housing. Additionally, inadequate housing is disproportionately inhabited by the poor and most people seeking to improve their homes do so incrementally. In the global South, incremental self-built housing constitutes a predominant way of residential development, ranging from 50 to 90 percent. This approach enables individuals to modify and expand their homes as their needs evolve and resources become available. In fact, billions of lives could be saved by making existing homes safer using relatively simple, inexpensive solutions that already exist. Investing in incremental upgrading of existing informal housing is an efficient, effective way to reduce housing vulnerability while bringing access to essential infrastructure and services like energy, water, and sanitation, and enabling people to remain in their homes and communities – close to the jobs, schools, social networks and services they rely on. Ensuring equitable access to water and sanitation services; reliable energy for lighting, heating, cooling, and home-based work; and ventilation can reduce the economic and health burdens that residents of informal settlements face on a daily basis and make homes and settlements healthier and safer to live in. By strengthening walls, roofs and foundations to withstand earthquakes, windstorms, and increasing climate-related disasters resulting from heatwaves, flooding, coastal storms, and landslides.

Aligning with the Sharm El Sheikh Adaptation Agenda goal that 1 billion people have better design, construction and access to finance to live in decent, safe homes with provision of basic infrastructure and services, this event will explore policy, practice and finance solutions from the perspectives of diverse stakeholders, including governments, local communities, multilaterals, and housing practitioners, to advance access to climate-resilient housing and urban services across the Global South.


  • Sheela Patel, Founder and Director, Society for the Promotion of Area Resource Centres (SPARC) India
  • Anjali Mahendra, Director of Global Research, WRI Ross Center for Sustainable Cities
  • Juan Caballero, Chief of Programs, Build Change
  • Cerin Kizhakkethottam, Programme Management Officer-Climate Change, UN Habitat
  • Golam Rabbani, Head of Climate Bridge Fund Secretariat at BRAC


  • Build Change, Habitat for Humanity International, CBF/BRAC, World Resources Institute, Slum Dwellers International

Image by Muhammad Amdad Hossain/Climate Visuals