'Global south' absorbed two-thirds of UN procurements in 2014

A man loads a bag of split yellow peas into a truck at a World Food Program warehouse in North Darfur, Sudan. Ninety-six percent of the surge in U.N. procurement in 2014 was supplied by vendors from the “global south.” Photo by: Albert Gonzalez Farran / UNAMID / CC BY-NC-ND

The United Nations spent $17.2 billion on lifesaving goods and services in 2014, or $1.1 billion more than the previous year.

Although last year’s rise in procurement volume was “not linked to any one U.N. operation,” the U.N. Office for Project Services noted that it should be understood in the context of multiple, complex conflicts — including in the Central African Republic, Iraq, South Sudan and Syria — as well as the Ebola outbreak in West Africa.

Meanwhile, the global body’s latest annual procurement report noted that three organizations in particular experienced soaring demand in 2014: UNICEF, the U.N. Procurement Division and the World Food Program.

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Confirming a trend that has gained ground in the past decade, U.N. procurement from developing countries and economies in transition continued to grow, accounting for 64 percent in 2014 — the largest share to date. Similarly, 96 percent of last year’s surge in procurement was supplied by vendors from the “global south.”

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About the author

  • Devos manola

    Manola De Vos

    Manola De Vos is a development analyst for Devex. Based in Manila, she contributes to the Development Insider and Money Matters newsletters. Prior to joining Devex, Manola worked in conflict analysis and political affairs for the United Nations, International Crisis Group and the European Union.

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