Health and food items among top United Nations purchases in 2013

COPENHAGEN – The value of procurement of goods and services by the United Nations was $16.1 billion in 2013, with the largest sums spent on pharmaceuticals, healthcare services, medical equipment, transportation, construction and food.

These highlights are part of the latest Annual Statistical Report on UN Procurement, which provides data and analysis on the goods and services procured by the UN system in support of its operations.

The report shows a continuing positive increase in UN procurement from developing countries and countries with economies in transition over the last ten years, which currently represents over 60 percent of total UN procurement. From 2009 to 2013, procurement from these countries increased by more than $2 billion. 

Among the ten major countries to supply UN organizations in 2013, four were developing countries and countries with economies in transition – India, Afghanistan, the United Arab Emirates and Kenya. Overall, the three largest countries of supply were the United States of America, accounting for $1.7 billion, followed by India at $1 billion and Switzerland at $716.6 million.

The report reveals that UN organizations are actively promoting sustainable procurement, with 24 organizations implementing a range of initiatives such as training and support for sustainability integration in the procurement process. The report also provides data on suppliers that support the United Nations Global Compact, which promotes corporate social responsibility, particularly in the areas of human rights, labour, environment and anti-corruption. The volume of procurement with registered Global Compact members has grown steadily over the last five years, reaching 27 percent of contracts of $30,000 or more in 2013, up 11 percent since 2009. The United Nations strongly encourages suppliers to sign up to the initiative, which includes over 12,000 members.    

This edition marks the 30th anniversary of the report, which has been compiled by the United Nations Office for Project Services (UNOPS) on behalf of the UN system. The report shows that the largest purchasers overall were the United Nations Procurement Division (UNPD), the United Nations Children's Fund (UNICEF), the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), the World Food Programme (WFP), the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR), the World Health Organization (WHO) and UNOPS, in descending order.

The full report can be downloaded on the UNOPS website and the United Nations Global Marketplace (UNGM).