Press Release

Odesa Procurement and Vendor Fair helps Ukrainian businesses drive recovery in tandem with the UN

16 October 2023

Caption: UN Procurement and Vendor Fair in Odesa on 16 October 2023
Photo: © RCO

The Ukrainian business community consistently demonstrates remarkable resilience and innovation daily. Ukrainian companies, especially the small and medium enterprises, are a driving force as the country strives to rebuild amid the Russian invasion, and the UN in Ukraine is offering practical ways to help them expand their business opportunities in this process.

The 2nd UN Procurement and Vendor Fair, held in Odesa on 16 October, was aimed at local businesses from Odesa, Mykolaiv, Kherson, and the wider region, with the goal of increasing their awareness of UN procurement practices and how to join the UN’s pool of vendors. The event featured a hands-on workshop, where over 30 UN procurement professionals offered support to businesses in the registration process on UN platforms and shared practical tips and best practices for successful applications.

The UN, working closely with the Government and local partners, launched massive humanitarian operations in the wake of the full-scale Russian invasion of Ukraine in February 2022. While these continue, there has been an increasing emphasis on helping communities rebuild – which is where the private sector comes in.

In humanitarian and recovery operations alike, prioritizing the sourcing of supplies and expertise within Ukraine is an important way to strengthen economic and social resilience, to save jobs, and to build back.

Jointly organized with the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, the Odesa Regional Administration and the NGO United Activities in Odesa, the fair gathered over 300 representatives of the local business community in-person and online.  The event equipped local entrepreneurs with practical information on how the UN holds procurement and how to apply for UN tenders.

The United Nations in Ukraine has extensive procurement activities. In 2022, Ukrainian businesses secured contracts worth of US$474 million. These contracts span a range of sectors, such as food products, construction materials, machinery, industrial manufacturing materials, textiles, healthcare-related goods and services, and information technology services.

In the wake of the full-scale Russian invasion, the UN has significantly bolstered the Ukrainian economy by injecting US$1.2 billion in cash assistance. This assistance reached 5.96 million people nationwide, with a specific allocation of US$64 million going to Odesa, where it supported over 368,000 individuals.

Furthermore, the UN has also been actively displaced businesses in Odesa by offering grants, business assistance, and facilitating access to finance and markets. Many of these businesses are SMEs directly impacted by the conflict and are either owned by or employ women, youth, people with disabilities, or internally displaced individuals.

The Odesa fair is the second of its kind, following one held in Kyiv in March. The UN keeps monitoring the outcomes of that event and the results are very encouraging. Over 700 Ukrainian businesses have already joined the UN Global Marketplace, thereby gaining access to UN tenders. Many have already secured contracts with the World Food Program for food supply, housing material provision with the International Organization for Migration, and machinery procurement for agricultural demining in Kharkiv with the Food and Agriculture Organization and the World Food Programme.

For more details on UN procurement activities and broader assistance to the private sector in Ukraine – check the factsheet.

Watch the recording of the Fair:


UN entities involved in this initiative

Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations
International Organization for Migration
United Nations Resident Coordinator Office
United Nations Development Programme
United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees
United Nations Children’s Fund
United Nations Office for Project Services
World Food Programme
World Health Organization

Other entities involved in this initiative

Ukraine Ministry of Foreign Affairs

Goals we are supporting through this initiative