Hamedan, Aug 19, IRNA-An official said on Saturday that 17 percent of Iran's urban population, comprising about eight million people, live in informal settlements.
Speaking at a meeting in this western province on a plan to empower and rehabilitate informal settlements, Asadollah Tabatabai, advisor to the Minister of Housing and Urban Development, added that 77 percent of informal settlers live below the poverty line.
He said informal settlers have occupied 10 to 12 percent of the country's total area.
On reasons behind the continued existence of informal settlers, Tabatabai said these settlers have been driven by underdevelopment and poverty.
"Informal settlers have greater expectations and are facing various social and health-related problems," he said.
Turning to Hamedan, he said 21 percent of its population, comprising some 100,00 people, is grappling with the reality of informal settlers, whose number is higher than the average figure in other parts of the country.
Tabatabai called on the province to activate its taskforces mandated to fortify infrastructure in informal settlement areas which reportedly requires 3,500 billion dollars in credit.
"Building low-cost houses for low-income residents is one of the major solutions to prevent the unbriddled migration to cities and mushrooming of illegal settlements," he said.
Almost one billion people live in shanty areas and informal settlements in cities and towns all over the world.
... Payvand News - 8/19/06 ... --