The United Nations Office for Project Services (UNOPS)

Where did the UN spend over $18 billion last year?

UN organizations spent $18.8 billion on goods and services over the year 2018, according to a new report published by UNOPS on behalf of the UN system.

The 2018 Annual Statistical Report on UN Procurement analyzes the annual UN spend on goods and services. The report also shows the extent to which sustainability considerations are incorporated into UN procurement processes.

For the first time, all 39 participating organizations reported on their sustainable procurement practices. A record 95 per cent of organizations included environmental sustainability as a main consideration in their procurement processes while social and economic considerations continued to play an important role.

Through its procurement practices, the UN has the potential to contribute significantly to sustainable development, and help drive responsible consumption and production.”

Grete Faremo - Under-Secretary-General and UNOPS Executive Director

“This year’s results show that UN organizations are making real progress towards embedding sustainability in their procurement activities,” she added.

A commitment to increase opportunities for developing and transitioning economies is central to the Sustainable Development Goals. In 2018, UN procurement from developing countries, countries with economies in transition and least developed countries reached its highest level ever – $11.7 billion, compared to $10.9 billion in 2017. This constitutes over 60 per cent of total procurement, with $3.5 billion spent in least developed countries.

Four developing countries – India, Kenya, United Arab Emirates and Yemen – were among the top ten supplier countries in 2018, with a combined procurement value of $3 billion.

The report was introduced in 1984, and has been compiled and published by UNOPS since 2008 on behalf of the organizations of the UN system and in cooperation with the United Nations Global Marketplace, where the report’s data is published.

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