United States of America
UNDP is the leading United Nations organization fighting to end the injustice of poverty, inequality, and climate change. Working with our broad network
of experts and partners in 170 countries, we help nations to build integrated, lasting solutions for people and planet.
The United States has been a vital partner since UNDP’s creation in 1966, contributing roughly US$80 million a year since 2012 to UNDP’s core operating budget. This voluntary contribution, in addition to US funding 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.
UNDP's 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 NGO "Publish What You Fund" as one of the world’s most transparent aid agencies. 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.
Recent Washington events:
“Reimagining Crisis Response: How to Save Lives and Livelihoods”: Fireside chat between UNDP Administrator Achim Steiner and US Institute of Peace (USIP) President & CEO Lise Grande, at USIP
“UNDP Administrator Joins World Bank-UK High-Level Panel on Pakistan Flooding”: Roundtable discussion at October 2022 Annual Meetings of the World Bank and International Monetary Fund
“The Challenges of Post-Pandemic Recovery: Exploring New Findings From the 2022 UNDP Arab Human Development Report”: Panel with Assistant Secretary-General and UNDP Assistant Administrator/Director of UNDP’s Regional Bureau for Arab States Khalida Bouzar, at the Middle East Institute (MEI)
“Mind the Gap: Bridging the Digital Divide”: Meridien International Center Global Summit with UNDP Head of Digital Policy & Global Partnerships Yolanda Jinxin Ma
Administrator’s lecture on “breaking the cycle of debt crisis,” 23 February 2023
UNDP Administrator Achim Steiner’s fireside chat with Johns Hopkins-SAIS Dean James Steinberg, previewing the IMF-World Bank Spring Meetings, 6 April 2023
Administrator’s World Bank Digital Media Zone interview, 12 April 2023
US Institute of Peace, "How to Reverse Latin America's Governance Crisis," Interview with Michelle Muschett, UN Assistant Secretary-General and Regional Director, 27 July 2023
"From Ruins to Resilience: The Path Toward Recovery in Ukraine. Ukraine has shown remarkable resilience amid destruction. The international community can help it rebuild even better." Guest blog for US Institute of Peace by UNDP Resident Representative Jaco Cilliers, 10 October 2023.
- "Protracted conflict could wipe out ‘18 years of socio-economic achievements’ in Ukraine, UN warns": The Washington Post
- "UNDP says Ukraine war led to sharp rise in global poverty": The Washington Post
- "Life in Afghanistan deteriorates sharply despite humanitarian aid": The Washington Post
- "Fuel, food, finance: Brace for impact from Russia's Ukraine war": The Washington Post
- "The West has a hand in Afghanistan's bleak state": The Washington Post
- "Global economic recovery is leaving poor countries behind": The Washington Post
- “Despite humanitarian aid, life in Afghanistan is reaching a new low”: The Washington Post, interview with UNDP Administrator Achim Steiner and Assistant Secretary-General and UNDP Assistant Administrator/Director of UNDP’s Regional Bureau for Asia & the Pacific Kanni Wignaraja
- “Serious debt crisis unfolding across developing countries”: Reuters
- “54 Countries at Debt Breaking Point”: Politico, interview with UNDP Administrator Achim Steiner
- "Human Development in an Age of Uncertainty:" Brookings Global, blog by UNDP HDR Office Director Pedro Conceição
- "Casualties from war in Ukraine include millions of the world’s poor," The Washington Post, interview with UNDP Administrator Achim Steiner
- "Fuel, food, finance: Brace for impact from Russia’s Ukraine war": The Washington Post, interview with UNDP Administrator Achim Steiner
- "GDP is getting a makeover—what it means for economies, health, and the planet": Nature, interview with UNDP HDR Office Director Pedro Conceição
- “Interview: Ahunna Eziakonwa”: Politico, interview with Assistant UN Secretary-General/UNDP Assistant Administrator and Director of UNDP’s Regional Bureau for Africa
- "UNDP wants to coordinate with USAID on Global Fragility Act": Devex, interview with Assistant Secretary-General and UNDP Assistant Administrator/Director of UNDP’s Crisis Bureau Asako Okai
- "Senior UN official urges Japan to take 'maximum leadership' stance in 2023": Jiji Press, Japan Times, inter alia, interview with UNDP Assistant Administrator/Director of UNDP’s Crisis Bureau Asako Okai
- "A possible watershed moment for valuing nature": The Hill, op-ed by UNDP Head of Ecosystems & Biodiversity Midori Paxton
- "The future of climate technology: Data-informed policies are indispensable in mitigating climate risks": Guest blog by Robert Opp, Iliya Nickelt, and Reina Otsuka, for the Middle East Institute
- “Can Arab States Bounce Back from COVID and Climate Crises? A new UNDP report says COVID and climate change have set the Arab world back and provides recommendations for how the region can recover,” by Mona Yacoubian, USIP
- “Iraq’s Immense Climate Challenges”: Blog and video by UNDP Resident Representative in Iraq Zena Ali Ahmed, for USIP
- “Global Shocks Are Setting Development Back—What Can Be Done?": Blog and video by Assistant Secretary-General and UNDP Assistant Administrator/Director of the Regional Bureau for Asia & the Pacific Kanni Wignaraja, for USIP
- "The Latest @ USIP: A New Framework for Global Development and Security": Video and interview with UNDP Assistant Administrator/Director of UNDP’s Crisis Bureau Asako Okai for USIP
- "UNDP Says Time To Rebuild Ukraine is Now": The Washington Post, interview with UNDP Administrator Achim Steiner
- "Earthquake Disaster": Sveriges Radio (Radio Sweden), interview with Assistant Secretary-General and UNDP BERA Bureau Director Ulrika Modeer
- "Key Developments in the Aftermath of the Turkey, Syria Quake": The Washington Post
- "Development Issues Driving Violent Extremism": The Lancet
- "During wartime, Europe’s strongest leaders are women": National Journal
- "Turkey earthquakes generated 10 times more rubble than 2010 Haiti disaster": The Washington Post
- “At last, some good news from Yemen,” The Washington Post
- “Why Digital Public Infrastructure Matters More than You Think,” Devex
- “Wealthy West has little excuse after finally waking up to global debt crisis,” The Guardian
- “UN reports that restrictions on women will hurt the Afghan economy,” CNN
- "The world sees invasive seaweed. This gardener sees housing bricks." Christian Science Monitor
- “34 million Afghans in poverty under Taliban rule,” MSN
- “Dutch salvage team set to pump oil off rusting Yemen tanker,” Associated Press, Fox News, The Hill, US News & World Report, inter alia
- “Climate change, farmers draining ancient Balkan lake,” AFP
- “UN begins high-risk operation to prevent catastrophic oil spill from Yemen tanker,” CNN
- “World adds 165 million more poor as debt consumes governments’ funds," The Washington Post
- “UN begins salvage operation to stop catastrophic oil spill off Yemen," BBC
- “Gender biases not improved over past decade, UN says,” Reuters
- “Nine out of 10 people are biased against women, UN report finds,” CBS News
- “UN agency says no breakthrough on debt talks at G20 a 'grave concern,’” Reuters
- “The world needs a debt-poverty pause to mitigate poverty: UNDP,” CNBC
- “UN agency calls for debt-poverty pause,” Reuters
- "UN starts removing oil from decaying tanker near Yemen in Red Sea," Reuters
- "UN says operation to siphon oil out of rusting tanker moored off Yemen begins to 'avoid catastrophe,'" The Washington Post
- "The Race to Avert an Oil Spill That Could Cost $20 Billion to Fix," The Wall Street Journal
- "UN says operation to siphon oil out of rusting tanker moored off Yemen begins to 'avoid catastrophe,'" Associated Press (AP), Stars & Stripes, inter alia
- "UN Begins Operation to Unload Oil From Yemen Tanker," Voice of America (VOA)
- "Oil from "FSO Safer" supertanker decaying off Yemen's coast finally being pumped onto another ship," CBS News
- "UN-led mission to start draining stricken oil tanker off Yemen," Financial Times
- “Leaders, experts offer AI advice for real people,” Axios
- “Cashmere," Freakonomics
- "Decaying Tanker in Mideast Is Emptied of Oil, Averting Catastrophic Spill," The New York Times
- “UN-Led Team Completes Risky Operation to Transfer Oil From Decaying Yemen Tanker,” The Wall Street Journal
- “More than 1 million barrels of oil removed from deteriorating tanker moored off Yemen, UN says,” The Washington Post
- "United Nations says oil from rusting tanker off Yemen has been completely transferred, avoiding environmental disaster,” AP, ABC News, NBC News
- “UN completes removal of oil from decaying tanker off Yemen,” Reuters
- "In Ukraine, Russia’s winter attacks on infrastructure have started," Stars and Stripes
- "Ukraine’s poverty rate has skyrocketed due to war," National Journal
- “Wasted GDP in the USA,” Nature
- “UNDP trials innovative technologies that could rid Ukraine of landmines in 10 years,” Yahoo News, MSN
- “UN-led FSO Safer operation safely concludes oil transfer, averts catastrophe,” Reinsurance News
- “China or US: Who's delaying debt relief to Africa?” DW News
- "Rich nations, the IMF and World Bank are worried about the Israel-Hamas war, but not nearly enough," The Guardian
- "Back In Ukrainian Hands, A Southern Region Struggles To Rebuild As Winter Approaches," Radio Free Europe (RFERL)
- "A glacier baby is born: Mating glaciers to replace water lost to climate change," National Public Radio
- “Gold’s Deadly Truth: Much Is Mined with Mercury,” The New York Times
- “Ukraine prepares for winter again as Russia targets its power grid," The Economist
- “In Ukraine, Russia’s winter attacks on infrastructure have started,” The Washington Post
- “UN Reports 'Staggering' $14 Billion Cost of Ukraine Dam Breach,” AFP, Radio Free Europe, Voice of America
- "Remember Afghanistan and Iraq? UNDP is trying to make sure you do," Devex
- "New UN report paints a picture of the devastation of the collapsing Palestinian economy,"
- "War has destroyed Gaza economy, reversed years of progress, UN says,"
- "Israel-Hamas war could set Palestinian economy back decades in Gaza, West Bank," National Public Radio
- "Ukraine prepares for winter again as Russia targets its power grid,"
- "In Ukraine, Russia's attacks on infrastructure have started,"
- "Bridging The Digital Divide In The AI Era - The UNDP Way," Forbes
- "Gaza destruction is unprecedented, says UN agency as it seeks fresh funds," Politico
- "Israel-Hamas war could set Palestinian economies back decades in Gaza, West Bank," National Public Radio
- "Gaza’s economy, crumbling for years, is being pounded to dust," The Washington Post
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