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New UN-Business website supports humanitarian relief efforts

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The new UN-Business partnership gateway – – will allow companies to browse through a catalogue of humanitarian needs (including appeals for Haiti relief) and UN partnership opportunities, or simply to submit ideas for collaboration with the UN. Based on shared interests, the site flags potential matches to be then connected directly.

At the same time, offers UN agencies interested in private sector support the opportunity to identify and describe needs and preferences, covering nearly all UN operations, from humanitarian relief to poverty reduction or HIV/AIDS prevention.

The new site is a joint effort of more than 20 UN organisations, co-ordinated by the UN Global Compact and the Office for the Co-ordination of Humanitarian Affairs.

While many of these UN organisations have partnered with business for years, companies have in the past expressed frustration over the lack of a single entry point identifying UN needs across the multitude of specialised agencies, funds and program. Many of the site’s features follow recommendations made in an assessment of the UN response to the 2004 Indian Ocean tsunami.

The launch marks the first time that one interface for business engagement has been available for nearly the entire UN System. While some needs, especially appeals for support of UN efforts in Haiti, are already in place, participating UN agencies, funds and programs, as well as businesses around the world, have been invited to register and populate the site in the coming weeks.

Currently only available in English, the site will be launched in all official UN languages by mid-2010.

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