Key Contributors

How UNDP is Funded

UNDP is funded entirely through voluntary contributions from UN member states and multilateral partners such as government agencies, foundations and international financial institutions.

At approximately $5 billion annually, donor contributions to UNDP represent about one-quarter of all contributions to the United Nations development system. Of this, UNDP's regular - core - budget totaled $792,5 million in 2014, with contributions from 55 countries. The remainder were earmarked - non-core - contributions intended for specific programmes.

The Importance of Core Funding
UNDP’s daily operations are based on a regular, core budget - 87% of which we receive from our top 10 partners.  UNDP’s core budget is critical to maintaining a stable and predictable resource base which provides high-quality development support, differentiated services across the 166 countries where we operate, and long-term development expertise. Core funding enables UNDP to respond to emerging crises, and preserve our multilateral, impartial and universal character.  These funds also allow us to support to resident coordinator system for ensuring greater effectiveness and coherence of the United Nations development system as a whole. 

Core resources allow UNDP to:

  • plan ahead,
  • be strategic and responsive,
  • strengthen accountability, transparency and oversight,
  • advance United Nations coherence and coordination, and
  • provide predictable, differentiated services across programme countries, particularly to the poorest and most vulnerable – at least 80% of our core programme resources go to Low-Income Countries (LICs) and at least 60% to Least Developed Countries (LDCs)

With our new Strategic Plan 2014-17, we are seeking to promote multi-year funding commitments with our partner countries.  This will allow us to predictably plan and deliver improved development results with greater coherence and integration in support of national development priorities with UN sister agencies, development partners and local stakeholders.

Non-Core Funding
In addition to core funding, UNDP also received approximately $3.8 billion in non-core funding during 2013 in the form of third party contributions and trust funds. Contributions provided by governments amounted to $2.4 billion, while contributions from multilateral sources totaled $1.4 billion.

Non-core funding is an important earmarked category of resources, which are largely mobilized in support of programmes and projects at the country level.  In keeping with global trends, this funding has risen considerably during the past decade. Non-core funds help us fulfill our global mandate and are complementary to our core funded operations and results.

Thematic Trust Funds
Thematic Trust Funds are another source of non-core funding. UNDP’s partners use these financing tools to better align and focus regional and country programmes around particular development themes.  The Thematic Funds enable UNDP to be more flexible in responding to emerging global, regional and country demands and contribute to knowledge generation and sharing throughout the development community.  UNDP’s Thematic Funds are:

  • Crisis Prevention and Recovery: In 2000, UNDP established the Thematic Trust Fund for Crisis Prevention and Recovery - a fast, flexible funding mechanism allowing us to respond effectively to crisis prevention and recovery needs. This fund is designed for quick action following a natural disaster or violent conflict, or when a unique opportunity arises to reduce disaster risk or prevent conflict.  Since its inception, the Fund has mobilized more than $1 billion and benefited more than 100 countries.
  • Democratic Governance: Set up in 2001, the Democratic Governance Thematic Trust Fund is the primary mechanism through which our key partners channel non-core contributions for our activities on democratic governance. Its main function is to provide country offices with discretionary funds to explore innovative approaches in politically sensitive environments and within the area of inclusive participation.  So far this fund has disbursed approximately $113 million across 750 country projects.
  • Gender: The Gender Thematic Trust Fund was established to provide our key partners with an efficient way to channel funds towards achieving gender equality results.  The fund has received nearly $10 million and has funded projects in over 65 countries, breaking new ground in areas where gender issues are often unaddressed - such as climate change. Over 70% of these projects have been in Least Developed Countries and Africa.
  • Environment and Energy : The Fund was established in 2001 and provides seed money to innovative and catalytic initiatives in the area of i) environmental mainstreaming; ii) environmental finance; iii) climate change and; iv) local capacity for service delivery.  Since its inception, approximately $ 49.8 million has been channeled through this fund.
  • Poverty Reduction: Launched in 2001 this Fund was has three key objectives: i) to fund innovative, catalytic and strategic development interventions at the global, regional and country levels; ii) to help us align and focus our global, regional and country programmes around priority thematic areas; and iii) to allow for simplified and more rapid disbursement of funds to interventions.

New Strategic Partners
We recognize the growing role of emerging partners as well as the significant potential that exists for mutually beneficial cooperation on important global and regional development issues. We have steadily strengthened the scope and quality of our dialogue with emerging partners, including the establishment of partnership agreements with 7 key partners. 

These partnerships offer access to networks and capabilities of UNDP and the UN Development System to advance on shared goals such as South-South and triangular cooperation.  During the past year, non-core funding to UNDP from programme countries increased by 30 %, in support of both their own national development priorities and their South-South cooperation initiatives. (See the support from our top 10 Programme Country Governments)

Transparency and Accountability
UNDP has a long-standing commitment to transparency, with Country Offices publishing financial, procurement and programme information on respective websites on an annual basis.

Our public disclosure of internal audit reports also demonstrates that UNDP’s work is subject to rigorous and independent scrutiny. To date, UNDP has publicly disclosed a total of 227 internal audit reports. Since January 2013 over 4,917 visitors have registered at our website where the reports are published. The disclosure of internal audit reports to Member States and to eligible donors is governed by the UNDP oversight policy and related decisions of the UNDP Executive Board.  To find out more go to UNDP’s Disclosure of Internal Audit Reports page.

Contributions to UNDP: 2003-2013

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UNDP open data

This online portal allows open, comprehensive public access to data on more than 6,000 active UNDP projects, along with more than 8,000 outputs or results.

Multi-Partner Trust Fund Office

Multi-partner trust funds (MPTFs) allow the UN system to ramp up efforts to enhance coherence and efficiency at the country and global levels, and to increase coordinated UN system-wide implementation.

Contact UNDP Partnerships Group