OHCHR’s Funding and Budget


OHCHR’s global funding needs are only covered by the United Nations regular budget at a rate of some 40%, with the remainder coming from voluntary contributions from Member States and other donors. The United Nations regular budget, approved by the General Assembly every two years, is funded from “assessed contributions” of each Member State according to a formula that takes into account the size and strength of its national economy.

OHCHR funding overview 2002-2015 

Human rights is recognized as one of the three pillars of the UN system, the other two being development and peace and security. Yet human rights still only receives a tiny percentage of the resources provided to the other two pillars. Overall, slightly more than 3% of the total UN regular budget is allocated to human rights. For the 2014-2015 biennium, US$207 million was allocated to OHCHR, compared with US$177.3 million for the 2012-2013 biennium. This amount is not enough to implement human rights mandates established by the General Assembly and the Human Rights Council. Mandated work should ideally be financed entirely by the regular budget, however as this is not the case, the Office uses a substantial portion of extrabudgetary funds to supplement these activities.

Until 2008, the level of voluntary contributions to OHCHR steadily increased from US$41 million in 2002 to a peak of US$120 million in 2008. Contributions dropped slightly to US$118.1 million in 2009 and more sharply to US$109.4 million in 2010, before making a slight recovery in 2011 and 2012 to US$111.1 million. In 2013, voluntary contributions increased by nearly US$10 million to reach US$121.2 million, by another 2 per cent in 2014, up to US$123.7 and again by 1.7 per cent to US$125.8 million in 2015, representing the highest amount ever received by the Office. Approximately 60 per cent of all voluntary funding was used in 2015 to support work in the field, which receives very little support from the regular budget. The remainder was distributed between other areas of the Office’s work, often supplementing the limited resources made available under the regular budget and enabling the Office to achieve a far greater impact than would otherwise have been possible.

OHCHR Annual Report 2015

The OHCHR Report 2015 presents results achieved under the Office’s six thematic priorities as set out in the OMP 2014-2017. It also provides information about OHCHR management, funding and expenditure. 

OHCHR Annual Appeal 2016

The Appeal sets forth a needs-based budget of US$217.4 million in extrabudgetary requirements for 2016. This amount is based on what the Office estimates is necessary to respond to the requests for assistance we receive.

Latest voluntary contributions to OHCHR in 2016
(as at 30 December, in chronological order from most recent to oldest)

Donor Currency Amount in US$
Flag Germany € 210,000 
Flag Czech Republic CZK 1,650,000 
Flag Ireland
€ 210,000
Flag Switzerland -
Flag Switzerland -
Flag Belgium
€ 654,974.10
Flag Turkey -
Flag United Kingdom
£ 2,500,000
Flag The Netherlands
€ 15,000
Flag European Commission
€ 222,796.41