Magazine article International Trade Forum

Supplying Aid Agencies. (Simba Street)

Magazine article International Trade Forum

Supplying Aid Agencies. (Simba Street)

Article excerpt

Procurement by international aid agencies: a vast market

In 2000, international aid agencies procured an estimated US$ 50 billion worth of goods and services for worldwide development and relief projects. The United Nations (UN) system accounted for US$ 3.7 billion of this total. Constantly growing and diversifying, the portfolio of goods, equipment and commodities procured by international aid agencies ranges from grains, cereals and agricultural equipment, to water supply and sanitation, shelter and domestic items, medical and transport equipment, office equipment and supplies and fuels. For example, the UN Children's Fund (UNICEF) alone annually procures over 2,500 different products and services. All goods and services are required globally, but above all in Africa, Asia, Latin America and the Middle East.

Firms: seize the opportunity

It is estimated that aid agencies, including those within the UN system, procure less than 10% of their total requirements from developing country sources. But with growing encouragement from the development community for international aid agencies to buy "locally", this market is increasingly opening up. …

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