Fighting disease with the Global Fund: Beyond medicine in Myanmar

UNOPS is providing essential sustainable procurement services in Myanmar, on behalf of the Global Fund and in partnership with the Government.

Global Fund in Myanmar

In this role, UNOPS has procured $26 million worth of health products in Myanmar, while also supporting the strengthening of national capacity and ensuring efficiency, transparency and fairness throughout the procurement process.

The Global Fund was created in 2002 and is a main source of financing for programmes fighting AIDS, tuberculosis and malaria worldwide.

In 2013, approximately 216,000 people in Myanmar were living with HIV and more than 290,000 people were suffering from tuberculosis. Over 632,000 cases of malaria are reported per year.

To combat the three diseases, UNOPS has partnered with the Global Fund in Myanmar as one of two Principal Recipients tasked with coordinating and overseeing the implementation of $273 million worth of grants over six years (2011-2016). UNOPS was selected for the role in 2011, together with Save the Children. 

Procuring vital equipment

Since assuming this role, UNOPS has procured $14 million worth of pharmaceuticals and $12 million worth of other health products in Myanmar, on behalf of the Global Fund. This has included antiretroviral, antimalarial and anti-tuberculosis drugs, diagnostics tests, insecticide-treated bednets and healthcare equipment. UNOPS has also procured non-medical products such as IT equipment, furniture, vehicles, warehouse equipment and maintenance services for various laboratories. In support of these and other supply chain management processes, central and regional storage facilities have been renovated by UNOPS using various funding sources.

Developing tools and national capacity

UNOPS has developed procurement tools such as standard operating procedures, product catalogues and monitoring systems. This has included an information tracking system that allows the status of each product to be shared with partners and stakeholders every week to enable them to monitor the entire process of delivering their supplies.

In addition, a logistics management information system has been launched to improve storage and distribution processes. As part of our focus on supporting national capacity development, UNOPS provided training on implementing the logistics system to around 1,500 staff from the national programmes in charge of fighting the three diseases. Moreover, UNOPS has trained national sub-recipients on other key procurement and supply chain processes, such as warehouse and stock management, quality assurance and control, risk management and reporting.

Myanmar's Food and Drug Administration has also received technical assistance for the establishment of an in-country quality monitoring system for pharmaceutical products.

Global Fund Malaria Medication

The highest procurement standards

With more than 30 years of specialized experience, UNOPS is a central procurement resource in the United Nations system. In line with our commitment to sustainability, we are working towards including sustainability considerations in all of our procurement. Read more


Highlighting UNOPS sustainable procurement services, Izaskun Gaviria, Fund Portfolio Manager for Myanmar said: "With a qualified and experienced team, UNOPS Myanmar as Principal Recipient, plays a critical role in increasing access to treatment and care to those in need by providing procurement services in Myanmar. Additionally, as part of their mandate for sustainable support, UNOPS contributes to building the capacity of the national entities that manage health products throughout the supply chain."
Maintaining the highest standards allows UNOPS to significantly lower the risks associated with our procurement work in Myanmar. With a focus on long-term planning, we ensure that procurement always takes place on time, avoiding the possibility of running out of stock.

UNOPS follows stringent quality assurance procedures including pre-shipment inspection and sampling by third-party inspecting agencies. In collaboration with the Food and Drug Administration, we also monitor the quality of products after they have been shipped. This is achieved through random sampling at different points of the supply chain and testing at laboratories that are prequalified by the World Health Organization or ISO 17015 certified. In addition, UNOPS strictly follows Global Fund policies as well as its own procurement quality assurance guidelines, regularly monitoring stock levels.


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