United Nations Foundation Announces First Grants

New York, NY

May 21, 1998


Megan Rabbitt

Timothy E. Wirth, President of the United Nations Foundation, announced today the Foundation’s first round of grants in support of UN charitable causes.

“This is an important first step for the new United Nations Foundation. We are delighted to be able to support a good package of projects that advance our priority programs for the environment, population and women, children’s health and institutional strengthening. All of the UN agencies involved, and the United Nations International Partnership Trust Fund (UNFIP) are to be congratulated for putting together this set of proposals,” Wirth said. Taken together, 22 individual grants were awarded, with life-of-project funding of $22,181,000.

The overwhelming majority of projects fall into three broad categories – children’s health ($5.4 million); environment/climate change($1.4 million); and women and population ($9.3 million). Additional program areas receiving support include activities related to landmines ($2.6 million), food security ($1.2 million), drug control and poverty alleviation. The approved grants were selected from proposals developed by the United Nations system at the end of 1997 and reviewed by UNFIP and its Advisory Board, on behalf of the Secretary-General, during the first quarter of 1998. More than 90 separate proposals were submitted late last year in response to a request for proposals. These proposals were evaluated against program priorities and criteria established by the Foundation in January, 1998.

In addition, the Secretary-General reviewed the relative strengths of the proposals, and considered consistency of individual projects with overall UN reform objectives. A consolidated set of recommendations were presented to the Foundation by the Secretary-General in late April. The UN Foundation’s Board met on May 12, 1998 to review these recommendations and approve final grants.

“UNFIP and its partners in the UN system are enthusiastic about the support that will be provided by the UN Foundation for these projects. The Foundation’s support represents a timely and important contribution to advancing the crucial work being done by UN funds and programmes each and every day under the guidance of member states. The UN Foundation’s grants are additional to and consistent with the ongoing work of the UN system. The United Nations is pleased to be able to help facilitate this important public-private partnership in an effort to advance peace, development and stability in the 21st century,” said Miles Stoby, Executive Director of UNFIP.


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.