Financial Plan

In 2011, OCHA requires $208 million from donors. This figure represents under 2 per cent of the more than $11 billion in humanitarian programming coordinated under OCHA auspices in 2010. Every 2 cents spent on
supporting OCHA will stretch the value of every dollar spent on direct programmes, ensuring strategic use of funds to address humanitarian needs more effectively, with fewer gaps and duplications.

Over the past five years, Member States and humanitarian agencies have demanded higher standards from OCHA: greater leadership in coordinating field response, more high-tech information management services, more consistent support for disaster preparedness, faster disbursements from a growing cadre of field-based pooled funds, and more widespread monitoring and evaluation of needs, results and impact. These services – which are provided to and for all Member States and humanitarian actors – are dependent on voluntary contributions. Timely funding to OCHA allows the smooth provision of the services outlined in this document.

OCHA’s annual plan for 2011 is based on its 2010-2013 Strategic Framework. Delivery against the annual plan is budgeted at $250 million. An appropriation of 0.6 per cent from the global United Nations Regular Budget will cover $13.8 million in programme requirements. Programme support charges will cover OCHA’s administrative budget of $28.4 million. OCHA is therefore appealing for $208 million in voluntary contributions to cover its extra-budgetary programme budget (see budget requirements table).

The 2011 financial plan represents a net reduction of $7.8 million against the 2010 Mid-Year Review budget. This reduction is the result of an exercise aimed at aligning OCHA’s financial requirements to the Strategic Framework and the level of anticipated voluntary contributions. This effort followed extensive consultations with donors throughout 2010.

The reductions are based on a streamlining of functions aimed at delivering managerial efficiencies and rationalizing OCHA’s work, translating into a decrease of the extra-budgetary requirements by approximately $18.5 million in comparison with the budget in the middle of 2010. However, following these cuts, the budget was increased by $10.6 million due to the requirements for OCHA to scale up in response to the Pakistan floods.

The bulk of OCHA’s budget covers staff costs. OCHA aims to deliver on its responsibilities in the field through 1,403 national and international staff in 2011 (see related chart). This is a net reduction of 129 posts, as compared to the middle of 2010. Many of these reductions relate to the downscaling and closure of a number of country offices in countries coming out of emergency situations.

At headquarters, OCHA has 443 national and inter­national staff, a reduction of 38 posts as compared to the middle of 2010. All planned post reductions have been
factored into OCHA’s workforce planning, with the aim of mitigating the impact on staff.

OCHA’s financial and resource management saw significant improvements in 2010. These efforts will be further consolidated in 2011 and will contribute to strengthening OCHA’s financial position over the coming years. In a sign of confidence in OCHA’s Strategic Framework and the increasing professionalism of its resource mobilization, OCHA raised over $20 million more in 2010 than in 2009, including an additional $15.7 million in fully unearmarked funds (see related graphic).

Staff Members by Region

In addition, eight multi-year funding agreements have been concluded, laying the foundation for more predictable financial support. Four additional Member States made contributions to OCHA in 2011 as compared with 2009. Overall, 39 Member States provide financial support to OCHA.

In 2011, OCHA’s resource mobilization strategy will focus on the following:
  1. securing increased – and more predictable and flexible – funding from existing donors;
  2. broadening OCHA’s funding base from a wider range of Member States and more varied sources of income;
  3. steering a coherent and strategic OCHA-wide approach to fund-raising.

Thanks to improvements in budgeting, resource mobilization and financial management, OCHA expects to fully cover projected expenditure from voluntary contributions for the first time in four years (subject to currency fluctuations). Any major budgetary increases demanded by new emergencies may also adversely affect the achievement of this goal.

OCHA currently anticipates a lower closing balance for its programme activities at the end of 2010, resulting in fewer funds available to support its field operations in the first months of 2011. More than in previous years, OCHA will be particularly reliant on early disbursements to ensure continued smooth operations in the field.

With significant humanitarian coordination challenges ahead, Member States are asked to disburse their contributions as early as possible in the first quarter of 2011. Member States are also requested to continue demonstrating their commitment to good humanitarian donorship principles by unearmarking their funding.