The Safer Cities Programme tackles one of the most fundamental aspects of city life and a critical component for sustainable social and economic development: the need to reduce crime, prevent violence and provide a safe environment. The programme supports the efforts of municipalities by building capacity at the city level to improve urban safety through crime prevention strategies that address the causes of crime, whilst involving all urban partners and stakeholders. With increasing levels and types of urban crime and violence in many Asian cities threatening the benefits of urbanisation, the Fukuoka Office stepped up its efforts during 2003 to support and develop Safer Cities projects.
For more information, visit "Safer Cities Programme".
In November, the Fukuoka office supported and facilitated the participation of regional representatives in the Durban Safer Cities Conference Sustainable Safety: Municipalities at the Crossroads. This international conference brought together a wide range of international expertise to strengthen the vision and understanding of Safer Cities and promote sustainable safety as an integral part of strategic municipal planning. At the regional level, HFO undertook the design of a regional Safer Cities for Asia programme covering Bangladesh, Indonesia, Philippines and the Pacific Islands Region in the first phase, focused on improving urban safety and crime reduction at the city level. Initial discussions were held with donors for follow-up and further development in 2004. At the city level, substantive technical input and mission support continued during the year with Safer Cities programmes in Port Moresby (PNG), and in selected cities in Bangladesh under the poverty alleviation project. In Bangladesh an analysis of safety and security in urban poor communities revealed an alarming prevalence of violence against women and a mission to prepare an action plan addressing these problems has been undertaken at the end of 2003.