25 May 2012 - Corruption represents a challenge that undermines the economic and social structure of communities and affects all members of society. When public funds are siphoned into personal bank accounts, fewer resources are available to build schools, hospitals and roads. When bribes are seen as a normal part of doing business, foreign direct investment suffers and economic development is affected. And when small enterprises find it impossible to overcome the "start-up costs" caused by corruption, entrepreneurship is curtailed.
In a bid to support private sector-focused anti-corruption work, UNODC has announced the formation of a new small grants fund for civil society organizations. As a partner in tackling the ills caused by corruption, civil society has an important role to play in building capacity to fight this crime.
The aim of the small grants fund is to provide financial assistance to civil society organizations, specifically those supporting the United Nations Convention against Corruption and its review mechanism, to enable them to share knowledge with small and medium-sized enterprises on the prevention of corruption.
As the guardian of the Convention, UNODC is at the forefront of building these partnerships at the national and international levels. While every sector of society has its part to play in ending corrupt practices, the private sector is seen as a particularly key partner, especially small and medium-sized enterprises, which often do not have the resources to deal with integrity issues.
The fund forms part of the ongoing work of UNODC to build capacity in this area, as was recently highlighted during a recent training workshop held in collaboration with the UNCAC Coalition to assist civil society organizations in building improved cooperation with the private sector.
Civil society organizations working in this area are encouraged to apply to the small grants fund by 31 May 2012. Further information concerning funding in this area should be directed to the UNODC Civil Society Team at firstname.lastname@example.org.