United Nations Foundation Announces $72 Million for United Nations Causes – Special Focus on Environmental Programs

Washington, D.C.

March 21, 2001


Serena Jiwani

As part of a continuing effort to support United Nations causes, the United Nations Foundation announced today a major round of investments totaling more than $72 million to UN projects worldwide.

“These investments bring together local communities, national governments and international organizations to strengthen the UN’s efforts in addressing many of the world’s pressing problems,” said Kofi Annan, Secretary-General of the United Nations.

Beginning its fourth year, the Foundation has already awarded more than $386 million for UN projects to date – exceeding its three-year goal of funding $100 million each year to UN projects. The United Nations Foundations considers support of UN causes in four areas: children’s health, women and population, environment and peace, security and human rights. To date, the United Nations Foundation has designated 40 percent to children’s health ($156 million), 26 percent to women and population ($100 million), 24 percent to environment ($93 million), 7 percent to projects related to peace, security and human rights ($28 million) and 3 percent ($12 million) to other grants.

The United Nations Fund for International Partnerships (UNFIP), the central coordinating mechanism within the United Nations for working with the Foundation, reviews projects submitted by UN agencies and recommends them for consideration by the UN Foundation Board.

An Investment in the Environment
Recognizing the vital role of the UN in environmental protection and sustainability, this round of funding targeted the UN’s efforts to protect the world’s natural treasures for future generations. Nearly half, or $32 million, of UNF’s total investment in this round were directed to environmental projects. Projects receiving UNF funding include efforts to address significant threats to biodiversity, including deforestation and over-consumption of natural resources; reversing the trend of coral reef degradation; promoting the protection of World Heritage sites; and providing community-based renewable energy services.

“Over the past several decades, the UN has been instrumental in responding to critical environmental challenges by raising public awareness of environmental threats and shaping effective global frameworks to meet these threats, ” said Timothy E. Wirth, President of the UN Foundation. “In its Environment Program, the Foundation has two major priorities: conservation and sustainable use of biodiversity, and reducing global climate change and promoting clean, renewable energy. This latest round of funding will support UN efforts to address these two major environmental challenges.”

In this round of funding, the Foundation also supported UN efforts in its three other priority areas—Children’s Health, Women and Population and Peace, Security and Human Rights. Projects funded include efforts to strengthen immunization services in Africa, disarm children and youth in areas of conflict, and improve reproductive health education programs in Botswana.


The United Nations Foundation was created in 1998 with businessman and philanthropist R.E. Turner’s historic gift to support UN causes. The United Nations Foundation promotes a more peaceful, prosperous, and just world through the support of the United Nations and its Charter. Through its grantmaking and by building new and innovative public-private partnerships, the United Nations Foundation acts to meet the most pressing health, humanitarian, socioeconomic, and environmental challenges of the 21st century.