Contributions and Expenditure
Funding for OCHA planned activities derives from two main sources — assessed contributions through the United Nations Regular Budget and extrabudgetary donor contributions.
United Nations Regular Budget
The United Nations Regular Budget is approved by the General Assembly every two years and allocated on an annual basis. The Regular Budget funds some core activities at headquarters, covering staff and non-staff costs, travel, equipment leasing, supplies and other common costs. It also includes an amount for grants for United Nations Agencies, providing emergency relief in the event of a natural disaster. This component is not used to fund staff and non-staff costs.
In 2008, Regular Budget expenditure was $14.2 million (including $663,785 in grants to United Nations agencies for emergencies), with staff costs accounting for $10.5 million and non-staff costs for $3 million. Regular Budget expenditure exceeded the budget for 2008 in the area of staff costs, which slightly exceeded the estimated budget.
Despite the increase in requirements for OCHA activities, acknowledged as a core part of United Nations activities, the appropriation from the Regular Budget has not increased correspondingly. In relative terms, the Regular Budget appropriation has declined from 16 percent in 2002 ($10.3 million) to six percent of OCHA final budget in 2008. Efforts to significantly increase Regular Budget funding for the biennium 2010-2011 did not produce the desired outcome.
Extrabudgetary Donor Contributions
Extrabudgetary donor contributions are administered through a series of trust funds. The contributions are received as earmarked or unearmarked, indicating the degree of flexibility stipulated by donors in the use of these contributions.
Earmarked contributions may only be used for the specific offices or projects indicated by the donor. Earmarked extrabudgetary contributions are allotted upon receipt to the specific project for which they are earmarked. They may not be used to supplement shortfalls in other countries or projects without the consent of the donor.
Unearmarked contributions are provided for use at OCHA discretion. OCHA allocates contributions to a field office or headquarters activities detailed in its cost plans, accounting for cash balances and anticipated earmarked contributions. Unearmarked contributions may initially be used as “advances” to cover the cost of activities until earmarked funds that have been pledged are received. OCHA also receives “loosely” earmarked contributions that have some conditions attached, but afford OCHA discretion within parameters defined by the donor. The two main trust funds used to manage extrabudgetary donor contributions are the Trust Fund for the Strengthening of OCHA and the Trust Fund for Disaster Relief Assistance. For more information on OCHA trust funds see Annex III.
OCHA received a total of $147.0 million in extrabudgetary donor contributions, including $10.4 million for the reserve funds. The reserve funds serve as internal accounting mechanisms ensuring effective cash management, particularly at the year’s beginning and end, when unearmarked contributions are limited.
In 2008, extrabudgetary expenditure was $195.1 million, of which headquarters accounted for $73.7 million (38 percent) and the field $121.4 million (62 percent).
The rate of expenditure for extrabudgetary activities was 88 percent. OCHA response to sudden onset and rapidly changing emergencies throughout the year left some funds unused with respect to those activities. Examples include Georgia (37 percent) and Myanmar (47 percent).
Part of the extrabudgetary expenditure in 2008 was $15.3 million, drawn from the Special Account for Programme Support, to fully fund administrative costs and common services provided by the United Nations. Because the Special Account is funded through levies on OCHA extrabudgetary activities through the trust funds, $19.2 million was levied and transferred to the Special Account for Programme Support to fund support of OCHA mandated activities.
|Final Budget||Expenditure||Expenditure Rate|
|Regular Budget Activities||13,383,600||14,222,993||106.3%|
|Office of the Under-Secretary-General/Emergency Relief Coordinator||4,815,032||3,975,679||82.6%|
|Executive Office/Administrative Office||20,395,461||18,782,259||92.1%|
|Coordination and Response Division||7,116,596||5,735,922||80.6%|
|Emergency Services Branch||8,320,424||7,599,033||91.3%|
|External Relations & Support Mobilization Branch||6,834,785||6,053,561||88.6%|
|Policy Development & Studies Branch||10,843,855||7,336,726||67.7%|
|Advocacy & Information Management||16,983,219||14,721,308||86.7%|
|Other Headquarters Activities||150,514||150,514||100.0%|
|Total Headquarters Activities||86,632,901||73,715,221||85.1%|
|Integrated Regional Information Networks||11,013,484||11,050,749||100.3%|
|Regional Office for Central and Eastern Africa||3,413,494||3,396,092||99.5%|
|Regional Office for Southern Africa||3,811,611||3,097,672||81.3%|
|Regional Office for West Africa||4,253,854||4,191,736||98.5%|
|Regional Office for the Middle East, North Africa & Central Asia||4,166,290||3,958,466||95.0%|
|Regional Office for Asia and the Pacific||5,723,446||5,041,328||88.1%|
|Regional Office for Latin America and the Caribbean||4,175,709||3,659,433||87.6%|
|Latin America and the Caribbean|
|Miscellaneous Field Activities||1,757,264||1,757,264||100.0%|
|Total Field Activities||134,036,263||121,367,641||90.5%|
|Total Extrabudgetary Expenditure||220,669,164||195,082,8621||88.4%|
|Total Expenditure — Regular and Extrabudgetary activities||234,052,764||209,305,855||89.4%|
|1 — Extrabudgetary expenditure consists of direct expenditure on programme and administrative activities totaling $175,872,712 and programme support charges levied of $19,210,150.|
In addition to assessed contributions received through the United Nations Regular Budget and extrabudgetary donor contributions, OCHA also received $21.2 million in other income. This includes adjustments, transfers, refunds and other income, such as interest and savings in prior-year unliquidated obligations.