ESCWA and Procurement Activities


The Economic and Social Commission for Western Asia (ESCWA) is one of five regional commissions of the United Nations and comprises the following thirteen member countries: Bahrain, Egypt, Iraq, Jordan, Kuwait, Lebanon, Oman, Palestine, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, the Syrian Arab republic, the United Arab Emirates and Yemen.

The commission aims to assist and promote economic and social development and to strengthen economic relations of the member countries in Middle East region, both among themselves and with other countries of the world, thus serving as the main socio-economic development arm of the United Nations in Western Asia. It formulates and promotes development assistance activities and projects commensurate with the needs and priorities of the region and acts as an executing agency for relevant operational projects. The Commission coordinates its activities with a number of specialized agencies of the United Nations and other international organizations, as well as with regional agencies and intergovernmental organizations, with a view to avoiding duplication and ensuring complementarities, synergy and the exchange of information.

In meeting its procurement needs, ESCWA seeks to establish beneficial long-term relationships with its suppliers in order to ensure a reliable and competitive source of supply. For those who do business with ESCWA, the relationship provides a unique and cost effective way to learn about investment opportunities in developing countries and in emerging markets. In addition, the relationship facilitates entry into these markets, with the support of ESCWA, and contributes to the development and sustainable growth of developing countries and to integration into the global economy.

For those wishing to do business with ESCWA, it is important to understand the dynamics of the United Nations system and how the Organization's activities are linked to each other.

The Procurement and Travel Unit (PTU) is tasked with all procurement activities relating to the ESCWA. PTU procures requisite commodities through competitive solicitation from qualified vendors that are registered in PTU database of suppliers.

Solicitation is issued as a Request for Proposal (RFP) or an Invitation to Bid (ITB)
or as a Request for Quotation (RFQ). Specifically;

  • RFPs are issued when the requirements are not specific.

  • ITBs are issued when the requirements are specific.

  • RFQs are issued for low value procurement normally where the requirement is specific.

As a general practice, most requirements above US$20,000 are procured through either an RFP and ITB.  Offers are evaluated on the basis of price and other procurement considerations, such as delivery schedules and correctness of specifications.

ESCWA continues to enhance the transparency and accountability of its Procurement procedures through adherence to global standards and modernization of its information technologies, including the Internet, so as to permit the maximum possible number of suppliers to compete in a transparent and fair process.