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Multilateral organisations

United Nations: UNDP and UNICEF


Australia's support to multilateral development organisations is an important component of the Partnerships for Recovery: Australia's COVID-19 Development Response policy. The COVID-19 pandemic has intensified existing pressures in the multilateral system and demonstrated the importance of shaping international responses to address global challenges. Australia is working with multilateral organisations to help ensure the Sustainable Development Goals are met.

In 2020-21, Australia provided $12.725 million in core funding to the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) and $21 million to the United Nations Children's Fund (UNICEF).


UNDP a is the largest development organisation in the UN system, present in 170 countries and critical for the UN's response to the COVID-19 pandemic. In alignment with Australia's priorities, UNDP is focusing on helping countries to prepare, respond and recover from the pandemic. UNDP is strengthening health care systems, providing social protection to vulnerable populations, and assessing the impact of the pandemic to help countries recover from the economic downturn.

Australia provides both core and non-core funding to UNDP. In 2020, Australian funding to UNDP contributed to:

  • Health security – supported the procurement of personal protective equipment and medical supplies in 88 countries.
  • Stability – supported governments in around 70 countries to develop their national response plans focusing on health, social protection, jobs, fiscal and financial stimulus, and social cohesion and community resilience.
  • Economic recovery – produced 70 socio-economic impact assessments to advise policymakers on the socio-economic impact of the COVID-19 pandemic and how to recover.

UNDP also supports the oversight of United Nations Volunteers (UNV).

United Nations Volunteers (UNV)

Australia has provided $1.5m (2019-2021) to UNV to place up to 15 Australians in UN Volunteer assignments, mostly in the Pacific region. These volunteers have been helping UN agencies with the implementation of the 2030 Agenda and more recently to respond to the COVID-19 pandemic.


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.

Since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic, UNICEF has assisted 261 million children globally by providing vital basic services. Australia provides both core and non-core funding to UNICEF. In 2020, Australian funding to UNICEF contributed to:

  • Health Security – 3.3 million health workers trained on infection prevention and control and 1.8 million health workers received personal protective equipment.
  • 73.7 million people received water, sanitation and hygiene supplies and 93 countries received 15,000 oxygen concentrators – innovative devices that help people with COVID-19 breathe better.
  • Stability – In the Pacific, dissemination of two storybooks with COVID-19 awareness messaging for thousands of children in the Federated States of Micronesia, Marshall Islands and Palau.
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