United Nations Office for Project Services

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UNOPS has been mandated by the United Nations General Assembly to be a central resource for the United Nations system in procurement, contracts management, civil works and physical infrastructure development.

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This event will highlight the importance of infrastructure asset management and how it can help countries get back on track to meet the SDGs and accelerate recovery.

This concept paper addresses the partnerships of United Nations agencies, funds, and programmes and the links between emergency response, recovery and development.


UNOPS has been mandated by the United Nations General Assembly to be a central resource for the United Nations system in procurement, contracts management, civil works and physical infrastructure development, including the related capacity development activities.

UNOPS is an operational arm of the United Nations, supporting a range of partners in the implementation of around $1 billion worth of peace-building, humanitarian and development projects in more than 80 countries. UNOPS provides sustainable project management, infrastructure and procurement services that range from managing the construction of roads in Afghanistan to building shelters in Haiti and purchasing pharmaceuticals in Argentina. By managing around 1,000 projects for its partners at any given time, UNOPS makes significant, tangible contributions to results on the ground. A focus on high-quality results is built into the culture of UNOPS, with the economic, social and environmental aspects of sustainability core to its work.

Disaster Reduction Goal

UNOPS aims to create safer communities by expanding the capacity of the UN system, governments and other partners to implement disaster risk reduction activities that systematically build the resilience of nations and communities vulnerable to disasters. To achieve this goal, the organization focuses on infrastructure-based services with community involvement and institutional strengthening.

DRR activities
Policies and Programmes in DRR

Highlights of impact since 2011

UNOPS contribution to disaster risk reduction (DRR) is twofold. UNOPS is dedicated to delivering sustainable results, ensuring that whenever possible DRR measures are incorporated in all the projects that it implements. Moreover, the organization uses its experience in both structural resilience building (e.g. resilient infrastructure services based on sound risk assessments) and non-structural resilience building (e.g. early warning systems, community participation and training) to function as a relevant implementing partner for specific infrastructure-based DRR services.

In relation to HFA priority 4 (reduce the underlying risk factors) UNOPS has developed a sustainable infrastructure policy, which reflects its commitment to ensuring that all of its work adheres to and promotes the highest possible international standards and quality. UNOPS has managed the design and construction of infrastructure projects such as schools, roads, bridges and hospitals to the highest standards, able to withstand extreme weather events.

UNOPS has also supported HFA priorities 2 and 5, by helping several partner countries monitor and prepare for recurring natural hazards, ranging from keeping mountain passes cleared of snow in Afghanistan, with funding from Japan, to supporting seismic monitoring in Argentina, for the Government.

Moreover, UNOPS supports HFA priorities 3 and 5 through capacity development and community awareness activities. In 2011, almost 90 per cent of its projects concerning natural disasters included elements that focused on developing national capacity of communities, labourers or institutions. The organization has managed the direct training of more than 170,000 people to help build the resilience of communities to natural hazards. In Afghanistan for example, villagers of both sexes were taught how to limit flooding by building retaining walls in projects that supported gender empowerment and gave villagers a marketable skill, on behalf of the governments of Italy and Japan.

Membership in Key Networks

Inter-Agency Group (IAG)

Disaster Reduction Focal Point(s)

DRR focal points:

- Mr. Rainer Frauenfeld, Principal Adviser Disaster Programmes, HQ – Copenhagen, Denmark (rainerf@unops. org)

-Ms. Michelle Krogh, Programme Development Officer, HQ – Copenhagen, Denmark (michellek@unops.org)

Regional focal points:

- Asia-Pacific: Mr. Jeffrey Crawford, Regional Programme Development Officer, Sustainable Development Advisor, Bangkok, Thailand (jeffreyc@unops.org)

- Latin America: Mr. Mikkel Broholt, International Consultant, Panama City, Panama (mikkelb@unops.org)

- Africa: Ms. Cecilia Lopez y Royo, Regional Environment Specialist, Nairobi, Kenya (cecilial@unops.org)
Ms. Michelle Krogh, Programme Development Officer, HQ – Copenhagen, Denmark (michellek@unops.org)

The organization has no registered commitments.

The Sendai Framework Voluntary Commitments (SFVC) online platform allows stakeholders to inform the public about their work on DRR. The SFVC online platform is a useful toolto know who is doing what and where for the implementation of the Sendai Framework, which could foster potential collaboration among stakeholders. All stakeholders (private sector, civil society organizations, academia, media, local governments, etc.) working on DRR can submit their commitments and report on their progress and deliverables.