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Multilateral organisations

United Nations: UNDP, UNICEF and the United Nations Volunteers programme

Our funding for 2017-18:
$155 million

In 2017-18, Australia provided $98.9 million (including $12.7 million in core funding) to the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), and $56.1 million (including $21.0 million in core funding) to the United Nations Children's Fund (UNICEF). These contributions made up around 28 per cent of DFAT's overall contribution to the United Nation development system and humanitarian agencies in 2017-18, which totalled $554.4 million.


UNDP is the global development network of the United Nations. Its mandate is delivered through three key work areas: sustainable development pathways; inclusive and effective democratic governance; and resilience. From 2014-17, Australian funding to UNDP contributed to:

  • 37.3 million people benefitting from improved livelihoods
  • nearly three million people finding new jobs (41 per cent of them women)
  • Nearly 170 million new voters being registered in 52 countries
  • 4.1 million people in 39 countries gaining access to legal aid services (51 per cent of them women)
  • More than 6.7 million people having improved access to energy in 55 countries
  • 104 countries implementing low-emission and climate-resilient measures, and
  • In 2017 alone, UNDP country offices managed 840 environment projects in 141 countries, valued at $3.6 billion.


The United Nations Children's Fund (UNICEF) aims to protect and promote the rights of children, support child health and nutrition, protect children from violence, exploitation, and HIV, and works to expand children's opportunities so they can reach their full potential. In 2017, Australian funding to UNICEF contributed to:

  • 78.6 million children being immunized against measles
  • improved water supplies for 45 million people and improved sanitation for 22 million people
  • 12.5 million children and nearly 250,000 classrooms receiving learning materials
  • 8.8 million children receiving basic education more than four million children being treated for severe acute malnutrition in emergency situations, and
  • 15.2 million children and women having access to health services in humanitarian emergencies.

United Nations Volunteers programme

The United Nations Volunteers (UNV) programme contributes to peace and development through volunteerism. UNV works with partners to integrate qualified, highly motivated and well supported United Nations (UN) Volunteers into development programming, and promote the value and global recognition of volunteerism. In 2018, UNV deployed more than 7,100 UN Volunteers with more than 35 UN partners. Among these, 24 Australians were deployed with UNV.

Australia has entered into an arrangement with UNV ($1.5 million from 2018-19 to 2019-20), which provides funding for around 15 UN Volunteer assignments in support of the implementation of Agenda 2030. The Australia-UNV partnership will provide Australian volunteers with the opportunity to gain valuable experience within the UN system, sharing their expertise and skills, and working with the UN, development partners, local governments, civil society and the private sector.

The Australian Government-funded assignments will focus on human rights (including disability inclusion, gender equality and women's empowerment) and UN reform, with placements mostly in the Pacific.

Visit the UNV website for more information.

Last Updated: 20 August 2019
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