United Nations opens new development office in Finland

The project brings together local governments and the private sector to invest in socially, environmentally & financially sustainable projects around the world.

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File picture of construction project in Nepal / Credit: UNOPS Instagram

The United Nations has opened an office in Finland which will coordinate a new type of investment programme around the world.

UNOPS, the United Nations Office for Project Services, signed a deal on Monday with Minister for International Development Ville Skinnari (SDP) to base the Social Impact Investment Initiative in Helsinki.

“It’s investment with a conscience, with a heart, and with the purposes of the UN at the forefront” says Jarmo Sareva, Ambassador for Innovation at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

The UN team in Helsinki will partner with the private sector and local governments where the investments take place, to inject money into projects that are socially, environmentally and economically sustainable.

One of the biggest areas the UN will focus on is social housing in developing countries and they’ve already signed deals to build hundreds of thousands of low-cost homes in Ghana, Pakistan and Kenya so far this year.

A project in Mexico where the fund partnered with the government and private industry to invest in green energy is another example of the type of initiative the new Helsinki office will oversee.

“At the very heart of this programme is the realisation that traditional modes of funding sustainable development will not be enough, you need to bring in the private sector and attract them to be part of these investment schemes” Sareva tells News Now Finland.

“It’s a completely new approach for the UN, and Finland is proud to host this groundbreaking and innovative way to make a difference in people’s lives” he adds.