UNESCO mobilizes higher voluntary funding during Covid-19 crisis

In a year 2020 marked by a global pandemic of Covid-19, UNESCO managed to mobilize extra-budgetary funding to an amount of $ 424.3 million, an increase of 15% compared to the previous year. This demonstrates donor’s confidence in UNESCO and the continued relevance of UNESCO’s programmes. It shows also a sound financial situation for UNESCO, as well as an increase in external support to the organization’s programmes and initiatives. 


An overall increase of 15 % in voluntary contribution

Whilst contributions from governments slightly decreased, contributions from Multilateral institutions, the UN and the private sector increased significantly compared to the previous period. The European Union with a total contribution of $62.5million was the largest contributor, followed by Norway ($38.4M) and the World Bank/GPE ($36.1M).


Stronger support to UNESCO from private sector and NGO

Governement support account for more than half of UNESCO’s contributions. The recent period has seen very significant increase from Multilateral Institutions, as well as from Private  and other sources. This testifies also to a very significant effort on behalf of UNESCO’s secretariat to diversify sources of funding, and more importantly to secure agreements with sister agencies and other partners, at a time when multilateral landscape is changing rapidly, with new actors coming in to cooperate and contribute to the work done by governments, including through public / private partnerships.


Figures show a strong increase of Private funding and other sources, from $ 69 million to $ 49 million. Furthermore, voluntary contributions from Multilateral Institutions rose from $ 69 million to approximately $ 100 million. More information on UNESCO’s budget and programme are made avaiable and regularly updated on our Financial accountability page.

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