COVID-19 Private Sector Global Facility announced at SDG Business Forum

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23/09/20

  • UNDP, UN Global Compact and ICC join forces with DHL, Microsoft and PwC to help communities recover better from the pandemic

[New York, 23 September 2020] The United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), the United Nations Global Compact (UN Global Compact) and the International Chamber of Commerce (ICC) have established the COVID-19 Private Sector Global Facility, a global initiative and collaboration bringing together public and private sector partners to help local communities recover better from the pandemic. Deutsche Post DHL Group, Microsoft Corp. and the PwC network (“PwC”) have already joined the COVID-19 Private Sector Global Facility, and the initiative is open for other like-minded private sector organizations that want to contribute.

The Global Facility is a response to corporate calls to action for private sector leaders and governments to work together to address the negative impacts of the coronavirus pandemic. The initiative has been established to better coordinate their responses, helping to ensure that immediate stimulus efforts flow into the real economy.

The Global Facility will operate at both the global and national levels. It aims to co-create solutions that are tailored to the phase of the COVID-19 pandemic in a given area and the specificities of the local private sector and government context. Guided by the UN Global Compact’s Ten Principles and the Sustainable Development Goals, the Facility will support a multisectoral, whole-of-government and whole-of-society approach to face the multidimensional nature of the crisis. Recovery efforts will focus on how to rebuild more inclusive economies and societies, to set a new course for a socially just, low-carbon and climate-resilient world where no one is left behind. Initial projects will focus on the countries of Colombia, Ghana, the Philippines and Turkey. Both the geographical scope and participating partners will expand as the Global Facility develops.

"Solidarity to ‘Recover Better Together’ can boost our collective efforts not only to cope with the crisis but overcome it. UNDP's footprint across some 170 countries and territories, combined with the UN Global Compact's network of more than 10,000 companies and 68 Local Networks around the world, and the International Chamber of Commerce's network of over 45 million companies, multiplies our collective capacity and potential. The Facility is the first of its kind – designed to join forces across public and private sectors to serve humanity in an imperative moment,” said UNDP Administrator Mr. Achim Steiner.

The COVID-19 Private Sector Global Facility was announced by Mr. Steiner at the SDG Business Forum during the UN General Assembly, the largest and most inclusive UN convening of private sector leaders. Launched under the motto “Recover Better Together”, the timing of this initiative has special importance, marking the commemoration of some important UN-related milestones: the 75th anniversary of the founding of the United Nations; the 20th anniversary of the establishment of the Global Compact; and the Centenary of ICC’s founding after WWI at a time when multilateralism is facing the greatest challenge of its generation.

UNDP Eurasia/Karen Cirillo

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Initiating partners

The Initiating Partners are UNDP, UN Global Compact and ICC. Together, they will bring their unique access to global expertise on responsible business practices, economic recovery, green business transformation and multi-hazard risk management.

“As COVID-19 disrupts societies, development agendas must adjust accordingly. There is a need for inclusive multilateralism, drawing on the critical contributions of civil society, business, foundations, the research community, local authorities, cities and regional governments. By unlocking public-private and private-private cooperation for a sustainable response to COVID-19 challenges, it is possible to recover better and build more resilient economies,” said Mr. Steiner.

The private sector has been acutely affected by the COVID-19 pandemic. The 10 principles of the UN Global Compact affirm the belief that businesses exist to serve and advance their societies, and their success cannot come at the cost of social or environmental regression.

“It is a moment of human tragedy and intense economic and social upheaval. But it is also a moment of possibility. Through partnerships like the COVID-19 Private Sector Global Facility we will support companies to Recover Better Together from the pandemic and finally confront global inequality by taking action, as well as mitigate the worst impacts of a climate emergency that threatens all of humanity. Together we can construct a new paradigm of resilience,” said Ms. Sanda Ojiambo, CEO & Executive Director of the UN Global Compact.

The COVID-19 pandemic has forced around 70% of small- and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) to shut down their operations. SMEs represent 50% of global GDP and more than 70% of global employment. The partners of the COVID-19 Private Sector Global Facility, representing multinational, global and local private sector stakeholders, commit to joint projects to develop policy and financial solutions for pandemic relief.

The Secretary General of ICC, Mr. John W.H. Denton AO said: “ICC’s local networks can bring value to the cooperation by reaching small business owners who want to have their challenges understood, their ideas heard, and their efforts to Recover Better recognized and built upon by others. SMEs need a way to facilitate this vital exchange of ideas, learning and experience with each other and with organisations and institutions in a position to support them.”

Private sector involvement

The COVID-19 Private Sector Global Facility is supported by strategic partners DHL, Microsoft and PwC, and is open for other like-minded private sector organizations that want to join this initiative. The strategic partners will add their expertise and technology to support this transformational recovery.

“In the current situation our employees recognize more than ever before their contribution to the well-being of the population. Under extremely difficult circumstances Deutsche Post DHL Group kept the global flow of goods, secured supply chains and provided the world with the necessary protective equipment. We want to share our experience of operating during one of the biggest health crises in recent history to protect lives against the pandemic. Join our efforts of connecting people improving lives to address the upcoming challenges together with our long standing partner UNDP” said Ms. Monika Schaller, EVP Group Communications, Sustainability & Brand. Deutsche Post DHL Group embarked upon the idea to support the Global Facility before its launch. The company underlined that their world-wide network enables them to make a difference on the ground for the local SMEs and helps them to survive in the present situation by solving logistical constraints.

“In line with Microsoft’s commitment to the Sustainable Development Goals, we firmly believe technology can be a force for good in these challenging times and we're proud to partner with public and private sector partners in an effort to accelerate global recovery. We see The Global Facility as an opportunity to create economic opportunities for all, bring our sustainability investments forward to support growth and recovery in a manner that advances our shared environmental agendas, and use data and AI to a build a system of intelligence to help all stakeholders better target their efforts to the communities that need the most help.” said Mr. Justin Spelhaug, Microsoft VP and Global Head of Tech for Social Impact.

Firms from the global professional services network PwC joined the initiative at its conceptual stage with UNDP. PwC will continue to play an instrumental role in supporting the design and establishment of this flagship global public-private cooperation. Additionally, PwC will help to develop finance and policy solutions and coordinate multi-stakeholder engagement. PwC’s role in the Global Facility is led by PwC Poland and supported by PwC Canada, PwC Hungary, PwC India, PwC Norway, PwC Middle East, PwC Switzerland, PwC Turkey and PwC UK.

“At PwC, our purpose is to build trust in society and solve important problems. Together with our clients and communities, we are working to assess and mitigate the major challenges that the pandemic poses for our economies and societies. We are proud to be working with our public and private sector partners to help structure and implement real pandemic relief solutions that make a difference in people’s lives,” said Ms. Agnieszka Gajewska, PwC Poland Partner, CEE Public Sector & Infrastructure Leader.

In order to effectively reach the most vulnerable in the most efficient ways, the facility aims to expand the list of strategic partners.

Organisations that want to play a leading role in the global pandemic recovery and join this call to action are encouraged to contact the UNDP project coordinator at global.facility@undp.org for a discussion on how they can get involved.

About PwC:  At PwC, our purpose is to build trust in society and solve important problems. We’re a network of firms in 157 countries with over 276,000 people who are committed to delivering quality in assurance, advisory and tax services. Find out more and tell us what matters to you by visiting us at www.pwc.com.

PwC refers to the PwC network and/or one or more of its member firms, each of which is a separate legal entity. Please see www.pwc.com/structure for further details.

© 2020 PwC. All rights reserved

About the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP):
UNDP is the leading United Nations organization fighting to end the injustice of poverty, inequality, and climate change. Working with our broad network of experts and partners in 170 countries, we help nations to build integrated, lasting solutions for people and planet. Learn more at undp.org or follow at @UNDP.

About the UN Global Compact:

As a special initiative of the UN Secretary-General, the United Nations Global Compact is a call to companies everywhere to align their operations and strategies with ten universal principles in the areas of human rights, labour, environment and anti-corruption. Launched in 2000, the mandate of the UN Global Compact is to guide and support the global business community in advancing UN goals and values through responsible corporate practices. With more than 10,000 companies and 3,000 non-business signatories based in over 160 countries, and more than 60 Local Networks, it is the largest corporate sustainability initiative in the world.

About the International Chamber of Commerce:

The International Chamber of Commerce (ICC) is the institutional representative of more than 45 million companies in over 100 countries. ICC’s core mission is to make business work for everyone, every day, everywhere. Through a unique mix of advocacy, solutions and standard setting, we promote international trade, responsible business conduct and a global approach to regulation, in addition to providing market-leading dispute resolution services. Our members include many of the world’s leading companies, SMEs, business associations and local chambers of commerce.

About Deutsche Post DHL Group:

Deutsche Post DHL Group is the world’s leading logistic company. The Group connects people and markets and is an enabler of global trade. It aspires to be the first choice for customers, employees and investors worldwide. To this end, Deutsche Post DHL Group is focusing on growth in its profitable core logistics businesses and accelerating the digital transformation in all business divisions. The Group contributes to the world through sustainable business practices, corporate citizenship and environmental activities. By the year 2050, Deutsche Post DHL Group aims to achieve zero emissions logistics. Deutsche Post DHL Group is home to two strong brands: DHL offers a comprehensive range of parcel and international express service, freight transport, and supply chain management services, as well as e-commerce logistics solutions. Deutsche Post is Europe’s leading postal and parcel service provider. Deutsche Post DHL Group employs approximately 550,000 people in over 220 countries and territories worldwide. The Group generated revenues of more than 63 billion Euros in 2019. The logistics company for the world.

About Microsoft:

Microsoft (Nasdaq “MSFT” @microsoft) enables digital transformation for the era of an intelligent cloud and an intelligent edge. Its mission is to empower every person and every organization on the planet to achieve more.