How OCHA is funded
OCHA coordination tools and services are delivered to ensure a more effective global humanitarian response system, and to ensure international humanitarian programmes are well coordinated with national and local response.
To finance these activities, OCHA is funded from the United Nations Regular Budget and from Member States’ voluntary contributions. In 2013, OCHA coordinated humanitarian assistance for 81.21 million people affected by the world’s worst crises. It had an operating budget of US$277.3 million. Since 2002, OCHA’s budget has quadrupled to ensure it can deliver on the mandate it was given by Member States.
The United Nations General Assembly approves the Regular Budget every two years, which is funded from assessed contributions paid by each Member State based on a formula that takes into account their relative Gross Domestic Product. However, Regular Budget allocations have remained almost static, which has made OCHA increasingly reliant on extra-budgetary resources. For the 2012-2013 biennium, only 0.5 per cent of the United Nations Regular Budget was allocated to OCHA, amounting to US$ 14.6 million per year. The remaining part needs to be funded from voluntary contributions and, for 2013, amounts to US$ 255.9 million. At present, OCHA’s income comes at 95 per cent from voluntary contributions from Member States and the European Commission.
In addition to the financial requirements for its own Programme, OCHA channels funds to international and national humanitarian partners through Pooled Funds. These funds are never used to finance OCHA coordination activities, however, and are not part of OCHA’s budget requirements.
OCHA receives voluntary contributions from a diverse set of donors, a number of which are grouped in an informal OCHA Donor Support Group (ODSG). The ODSG acts as a ‘sounding board’ and a source of advice on policy, management, budgetary and financial questions. The group discusses concrete measures that members may take individually or collectively to assist OCHA in better fulfilling its mission and goals on the basis of humanitarian principles. ODSG members commit to provide political, financial and technical support towards fulfilling OCHA’s mandated coordination activities.
The ODSG is currently comprised of Australia, Austria, Belgium, Canada, Denmark (Chair), Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Ireland, Italy, Japan, Luxembourg, New Zealand, the Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Republic of Korea, Russian Federation, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, Turkey, United Arab Emirates, United Kingdom, United States and the European Commission. It meets regularly at the technical level in Geneva and New York, and annually at the senior level. In addition, the ODSG undertakes a field mission every year to review OCHA's work on the ground.