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What We Do
© UNHCR / H. Caux

Counting on Contributors

UNHCR is almost entirely funded by direct, voluntary contributions - the bulk of it from donor nations. We get important contributions from non-governmental organizations (NGO) and the private sector, including corporations, trusts, foundations and individual citizens. There is also a small annual subsidy from the regular budget of the United Nations, which is used for administrative costs.

This means that UNHCR must compete with other humanitarian agencies, including UN sister organizations, for a limited amount of humanitarian funding. The situation has become tougher with the onset of the global economic crisis, with prices rising and both government and corporate donors tightly controlling limited aid budgets.

That's why it is important to have highly professional, knowledgeable and dedicated fund-raising teams, who have helped UNHCR meet targets in the more competitive environment of recent years.

The Donor Relations and Resource Mobilization service liaises closely with governments to raise funds and to keep these key stakeholders informed about needs and about how their money is being used. The Private Sector Fund-Raising unit plays a similar role, interfacing with NGOs, trusts, foundations and private donors. It raised over US$191 million in 2013.

Donations are sought every year for UNHCR's Annual Programme Budget, which includes programmes that support regular operations. But the agency also launches supplementary appeals throughout the year, seeking extra donations for new emergencies that cannot be forecast.

While funding requirements for UNHCR programmes can grow during the year, the refugee agency's Global Needs Assessment programme is aimed at comprehensively determining the funding required to cover all needs.

Find out more about how you can donate to UNHCR.





Governments, organisations and individuals who fund UNHCR's activities.

The Global Appeal, Supplementary Appeals and Response Plans

Alerting donors, organizations and individuals to the plight of millions of uprooted people.

The Global Report and Funding Reports

A comprehensive view of the refugee agency's challenges and achievements worldwide.