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United States of America

About us

UNDP in Washington D.C.

 

A vital partner since UNDP’s creation in 1966, the United States has contributed roughly US$80 million a year since 2012 to UNDP’s core operating budget. This voluntary contribution, in addition to US funding earmarked for programs of unique importance to the United States, underpins our ability to deliver projects and programs in more than 170 countries and territories.

This includes fighting corruption, preventing and countering violent extremism, responding to complex crises such as the COVID-19 pandemic and conflict around the world, removing landmines, providing safe water and sanitation, conserving wildlife and halting trafficking in endangered species, supporting democracy and rule of law, addressing the climate  crisis, and helping create jobs and livelihoods that allow people pull themselves out of poverty.

This work advances US foreign policy, national security, and economic interests—helping to build peaceful, stable societies that become markets for US exports. US membership on our Executive Board ensures that no UNDP country program goes forward without US approval. Other governments share this commitment: For every US$1 the United States invests in UNDP projects and programs, others contribute US$14.

While core funding accounts for only a small part of UNDP’s total budget, it supports vital research and strategic planning and provides flexibility to address emergencies. It helps attract private sector investment, jump-starts activities with seed money, addresses long-running crises, and finances conflict and crisis prevention. Core funding fills gaps when emergency appeals fall short and helps UNDP operate with maximum transparency, oversight, and accountability.

In 2016, a US Senate Appropriation subcommittee singled out UNDP among 29 international organizations for its unique contribution and impact in areas of vital US interest such as Iraq and Afghanistan. In 2017, the subcommittee cited “the important contribution of UNDP to stability and development in areas liberated from ISIS and other extremists in Iraq, and in facilitating the return of millions of IDPs to such areas. US officials have also praised UNDP’s efficiency and top global rating for transparency. At the vanguard of UN reform, UNDP launched a major restructuring in 2014 that cut costs and moved 20% of headquarters jobs to the field. Since then, UNDP has been independently ranked by the International Aid Transparency Initiative (IATI) as the world’s #1 most transparent agency. UNDP is also consistently ranked among top organizations globally in value for money, including in areas such as justice, security, democratic governance, and anti-corruption, according to the independent nonprofit AidData. The UN Board of Auditors has awarded UNDP an unqualified/clean audit for 14 consecutive years.

Through our work to help governments become transparent trade partners and viable export markets, UNDP contributes directly to the US economy. UNDP procured more than US$1.283 billion in goods and services from vendors in all 50 US states from 2012-2021, supporting US jobs and businesses across the country. UNDP also maintains partnerships with the private sector globally, which benefit from UNDP's convening power, understanding of development issues and local contexts, and expertise across a wide range of sectors.

US contributions allow UNDP to maintain a coherent in-country presence before, during, and after crises, coordinating UN development and humanitarian work on the ground--and responding quickly to emergencies. In recent years, UNDP has helped provide clean water and sanitation, basic services, and jobs to Syrian, Afghan, and Iraqi refugees, for example, and to the often impoverished, overcrowded communities hosting them.

In addition to its concrete, cutting-edge work to address the COVID-19 pandemic and conflict in Ukraine, UNDP has played a critical role in responding to conflicts and complex crises in Afghanistan, Haiti, Yemen, Syria, Iraq, and elsewhere. UNDP brings state-of-the-art, cost-effective solutions to tackle some of the world’s biggest challenges. These include leveraging digital technology to ensure free and fair elections, installing solar panels to keep life-saving health services running when electrical grids are destroyed, and using drones, data, and satellite imagery to monitor and mitigate droughts, storms, and humanitarian crises.

Register here to receive occasional updates and invitations from the UNDP Washington Representation Office.