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Swedish development agency offer new €2.5m grant for GRI partnership

GRI have received a €2.5m ($3.1m) grant from the Swedish International Development Agency (Sida), with who it partners, to help align its GRI Standards with the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).

The grant, which began in March 2018 and is to be paid over three years, will bring the Sida’s total contribution to its 10 year old partnership with GRI to €10m.

This phase of the partnership between Sida and GRI also includes the involvement of the Danish Institute of Human Rights (DIHR). DIHR and GRI have had a MoU since 2013 and the partnership aims to focus on improving engagement between businesses and governments in a number of developing countries and SDGs.

GRI has previously focused on incorporating the UN Guiding Principles on business and human rights in its standards but it is now reviewing and updating the HR elements of its standards. This is aims to make reporting relevant for a wider range of stakeholders in developing countries, including NGOs, SMEs, community leaders and advocacy groups.

GRI deputy chief executive Teresa Fogelberg commented: “We are delighted to enter into this new phase in our more than 10 years of partnership, as it will enable us to focus on three extremely relevant issues: first, making the SDGs happen, second, pushing companies beyond reporting into action and real change in poverty alleviation and equality, and third, ensuring a special focus on human rights. In this regard, we look forward to strengthening our partnership with the DIHR as well.”

Sida policy specialist of multilateral coordination Anders Gerdin commented: “By engaging with business and stakeholders in this platform and through its Standards, GRI can provide incentives for companies to integrate their sustainability policy and performance into the broader arena of sustainable development. The companies can assess, understand and realise their normative and actual contribution to very real challenges like poverty alleviation, job creation, and tax as a basis for increased domestic resource mobilisation.”

By Joe Pickard

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