Working together for a new future

How our partnerships
strengthen everything we do

We step into a new decade bringing with us the shadow of the last. The COVID-19 pandemic challenged not just our everyday lives, but how UNDP works with its partners, and how it delivers for those most in need.

The pandemic tested international cooperation and the multilateral system that underpins it and showed, more starkly than ever, how we must respond collectively and in new more flexible ways to complex and unprecedented global challenges.

Quick thinking, bold new ways of working

The social and economic impact of COVID-19 is still shocking the world and will do so for years to come. UNDP’s work is centred on minimizing the socio-economic effects and ensuring that we have the resources—and the best ideas—to protect lives and jobs and ensure a just and fair recovery.

The pandemic has also drawn attention to the need to act as one to address the challenges of inequality, climate change and governance. It has created heightened awareness of the connections between the pandemic and habitat loss, the climate emergency, growing inequality, contested democratic values and protracted conflicts—as well as the need for responses that take ‘the whole picture’ into account.   

This requires complex long-term commitment, one that UNDP has never undertaken, and one which we cannot do alone.

Core strength

Regular, or core, resources are funds provided to UNDP that are not earmarked for a specific project or theme. They enable UNDP to have the flexibility to eradicate poverty and inequality. Core resources also mean we can respond to crises and disasters as they happen.

In the best of times, development requires a clear, strategic long-term focus, as well as the ability to tackle emerging challenges and opportunities.

Core funding makes both possible.

Core funding has declined since the last global financial crisis, and many countries have announced deep cuts in their funding for development - Official Development Assistance as it’s known, but UNDP’s trusted partners are bucking that trend. In 2020 we received core contributions of US$696 million - US$79 million, or 13 percent more than the previous year. This included a record 126 percent increase from Germany, with increases also from Denmark, Japan, US, Finland, Czech Republic, and Israel.

Antigua and Barbuda, Cuba, Iran and Latvia returned as contributors or newly contributed to UNDP’s core resources.


Funding partners secured stronger political and financial support for #NextGenUNDP and ensured the organization is a ‘partner of choice’ as we move into the second year of our response to the COVID-19 crisis.

Core strength
2019 vs. 2020
2019 Core Funding
2020 Core Funding


We’ve dedicated ‘visibility weeks’ to our top funding partners in 2020, including Denmark, the EU, Germany, Luxembourg, the Netherlands, Norway and Sweden. We mobilized US$518 million in new commitments for COVID-19 alone, including US$64 million from Japan to 29 UNDP country offices.

Top partners
COVID-19 Contributions
  • New commitments
  • from Japan to 29 country offices

Follow the money

UNDP recognizes the crucial role of development banks and International Financial Institutions, whose support is integral to social, economic and environmental initiatives of developing economies.

Over the last decade, UNDP has worked with international financial institutions, governments and other partners to execute projects worth more than US$2 billion, helping to support national development priorities in line with the Sustainable Development Goals.

In 2020, the World Bank contributed US$51 million in new funding for UNDP’s Yemen Crisis Response Project, of which US$43 million has been used for COVID-19. Some $32 million in existing World Bank funding has been repurposed to provide lifesaving services such as healthcare, water and sanitation, clean energy, food security, and livelihoods to millions of Yemenis.

Since the start of the pandemic in 2020, UNDP has received US$138 million from the World Bank, the German national development bank, KfW, Corporacion Andina de Fomento, African Development Bank, Islamic Development Bank and Inter-American Development Bank.

UNDP is working with financial institutions and other partners in more than 90 countries on joint socio-economic impact assessment and recovery planning to help direct to funding where it is most needed. We are working on greater strategic and programmatic cooperation with the World Bank and the International Monetary Fund to help countries finance national development strategies which meet the 2030 Agenda.

Who says giving can’t be fun?

UNDP has revitalized opportunities for people to empower communities through crowdfunding campaigns that provide tangible support to the most vulnerable. More than 15 campaigns were launched in 2020, supporting a range of local initiatives that are helping to reverse the effects of COVID-19.

UNDP’s partnership with Samsung is growing. The Samsung Global Goals app is installed on 100 million devices worldwide and has generated US$1.6 million, engaging new audiences with the SDGs while providing an innovative source of revenue. With the recent launch of the #Generation17 initiative, young leaders are making their voices heard, raising awareness about how they’re helping to solve some of the world’s most urgent problems, and advancing The Youth2030 Strategy.

Samsung logo

Mission 1.5, a mobile game app which educates people about climate policy and provides a platform for them to vote on solutions, is providing the largest collection of data on climate action. It’s compiled and analyzed by researchers at the University of Oxford and will be given to government leaders and climate policymakers.

University of Oxford logo

HEART 17 is an innovative new partnership to spark hope in the world by using the power of creativity to amplify the voices of youth leaders worldwide, inspire concrete action to solve some of the world's most pressing challenges. HEART 17 will launch in Spring 2021 with some of the top private sector brands as close partners.

Animals appear in more than 20 percent of all advertisements. The promotional money equals US$118 billion every year. At the same time nature is in crisis. More than one million species may become extinctic over the next decade if urgent action is not taken. The Lion’s Share enables companies to have a positive impact on the planet through their advertising and marketing budgets. Each brand is asked to contribute 0.5 percent of their media spend on every ad that includes animals. More than 30 brands, including Mars Incorporated, Gucci, Cartier, The Economist Network, BBDO and Nielsen have joined. Their support promotes animal conversation, tackles biodiversity loss, and protects forests and reefs. Last year, the Lions Share donated US$400,000 to communities that depend on wildlife conservation and ecotourism and have lost income because of the pandemic.

Ameni Kharroubi from Tunisia; Arab Youth Leader at the 2019 UN Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC) Youth Forum.
A wildlife ranger stands beside her vehicle and looks through binoculars

Fast forward

The devastating effects of COVID-19, the climate crisis and rising inequality are not evenly distributed, but they are interconnected, and so must our response be. UNDP is committed to strengthening and broadening its partnership and funding families. Only then can we build more just societies which are fully able to provide dignity for all citizens, at the same time as we strive for a healthier planet and meet the Sustainable Development Goals.


UNDP Core Funding: UNDP Annual Report 2011/2012; UNDP Annual Report 2012/2013; UNDP Annual Report 2013/2014; UNDP Annual Report 2014/2015; UNDP Annual Report 2015/2016;


UNDP/Sumaya Agha; UNDP Angola