Aug 20, 2015 15:00 JST

Source: Habitat for Humanity International

Nepal Earthquake Rebuilding Agency Chief to Speak at Hong Kong Forum

MANILA, Aug 20, 2015 - (ACN Newswire) - 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

- Brotin Banerjee, CEO, Tata Housing, India

- Mark Devadason, Head of Sustainability, Standard Chartered, 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 Forum:

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

About Asia-Pacific Housing Forum 5

The Asia-Pacific Housing Forum is a biennial conference organized by Habitat for Humanity. In 2015, the Housing Forum's fifth iteration, the main event will be held from 1-4 September in Hong Kong. It will bring together all actors engaged in seeking solutions to affordable housing issues that make business and economic sense. Satellite events, taking place in India and the Philippines, will meet at similar times. All events will be coordinated through the Housing Forum theme of 'Building Impact'.

About Habitat for Humanity

Habitat for Humanity International's vision is a world where everyone has a decent place to live. Anchored by the conviction that safe and affordable housing provides a path out of poverty, since 1976 Habitat has helped more than 5 million people through home construction, rehabilitation and repairs and by increasing access to improved shelter through products and services. Habitat also advocates to improve access to decent and affordable shelter and offers a variety of housing support services that enable families with limited means to make needed improvements on their homes as their time and resources allow. As a nonprofit Christian housing organization, Habitat works in more than 70 countries and welcomes people of all races, religions and nationalities to partner in its mission. Habitat has supported an estimated 2 million individuals in the Asia-Pacific region, where it has been active since 1983. To get more information, to donate or to volunteer, please visit or follow us at

For media inquiries, please contact:

Geno Teofilo
T: +63 905 669 5985

Source: Habitat for Humanity International
Sectors: CSR, Environment, ESG

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