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Overall programme and funding projections for 1998 and 1999

Executive Committee Meetings

Overall programme and funding projections for 1998 and 1999

14 January 1999


1. An update of UNHCR's programme and funding projections for 1998 and 1999 was presented to the Executive Committee in October 1998. The present document provides further updated information on programme expenditure and funding projections for 1998 and a summary of programmes and funding projections for 1999. A list of 1998 contributions as of 1 December 1998 is attached in Annex VI.


2. The attached Annex I provides an update as of 1 December 1998 for total projected expenditure for activities programmed in 1998 and a forecast of expected income for 1998.

A. General Programmes

3. It is anticipated that the 1998 General Programmes expenditure will reach a total of $ 349 million which would be $ 91 million (or 21 per cent) less than the approved target. This reduced expenditure reflects the results of a programme/budgetary review undertaken during the course of 1998 which tried to adjust the activities within the General Programmes to the projected level of income. All geographical regions, as well as Headquarters, were obliged to limit expenditure. While the reductions in some countries were the result of delayed implementation, or a favourable exchange rate, some programme initiatives were postponed and a number of posts were discontinued due to insufficient funds. Expenditure under the Programme Reserve, the Emergency Fund and the Voluntary Repatriation Fund was limited due to the absence of new large-scale emergencies and major unforeseen repatriation operations.

4. Contributions to the General Programmes, as of 1 December 1998, totalled $ 322.6 million, with an estimated additional secondary income of $ 24.6 million. This represents (as at December 1998) a possible carry-over of less than $ 1 million of unobligated funds into 1999. This is the lowest carry-over UNHCR has recorded in many years.

5. Should there be an actual shortfall, UNHCR would resort to the Working Capital and Guarantee Fund, in accordance with the provisions of Article 6.3 (e) of the Financial Rules for Voluntary Funds Administered by the High Commissioner for Refugees.

B. Funds and Reserves

6. Allocations made as of 1 December 1998 from the Emergency Fund are shown in Annex II. Although $ 8.9 million were allocated as of 1 December 1998, it is expected, due to the late receipt of contributions, mainly for the Sierra Leone programme, that up to $ 3 million can be reimbursed to the Emergency Fund. Therefore, Annex I indicates an expenditure of $ 6 million only for 1998.

7. Allocations made as of 1 December 1998 from the Voluntary Repatriation Fund are shown in Annex III. Against the initial allocation of $ 20 million, $ 14.7 million have been obligated, leaving a balance of $ 5.3 million as of 1 December 1998. However, it is expected that some $ 7.7 million which were allocated to finance shortfalls in UNHCR's Special Programmes may be cancelled due to contributions received late in 1998 for certain repatriation operations. It is estimated that final obligations under the Voluntary Repatriation Fund will total $ 7 million.

8. Due to the funding shortfall, UNHCR also placed a limit of $ 15 million on the 1998 Programme Reserve. As of 1 December 1998, a total of $ 8.9 million has been allocated from the Reserve (Annex IV refers).

C. Special Programmes

9. Following the budget exercise in mid-1998, the revised budget for 1998 Special Programmes (as shown in Annex I), was reduced to $ 551.5 million. Total project expenditure is estimated at $ 502 million. Approximately 35 per cent, or $ 176.2, million was for UNHCR's participation in the humanitarian assistance and emergency operation in the former Yugoslavia, including the Kosovo region. Some 15 per cent, or $ 75.9 million, was for the Great Lakes Operation in Central Africa (excluding Rwanda). Total income for the Special Programmes is projected at $ 442.2 million. Taking into account the unobligated funds brought forward from 1997 of $ 127.2 million, it is anticipated that UNHCR will carry-over some $ 67.6 million into 1999 (Annex I refers), which is approximately half of the balance brought forward at the end of 1997.


10. UNHCR's programme needs for 1999 are $ 413 million for the General Programmes and $ 482 million for its Special Programmes. Including the Regular Budget of $ 19.8 million, the projected needs in 1999 therefore total $ 914.8 million. These breakdown of the programme needs figures isare contained in the "Global Appeal" document issued in December 1998 and reflects the General Programme targets approved by the forty-ninth session of the Executive Committee and the updated requirements of Special Programmes.

11. The estimates for Special Programmes include the expected needs for the major humanitarian assistance programmes in the former Yugoslavia (including the Kosovo region), the Great Lakes region of Africa, and the Commonwealth of Independent States. to mention the most important ones. Special Programme The estimates also include the major repatriation programmes, such as in Liberia, the Horn of Africa, Rwanda, Myanmar, and Afghanistan. The full requirements for the planned repatriation operation of Sahrawi refugees to the Western Sahara will be finalized at a later date.

12. The High Commissioner greatly appreciates the pledges made at the the Pledging Conference for 1999 Programmes. Pledges made at the Pledging Conference total $ 121 million, which will allow UNHCR to begin its activities under the 1999 General Programmes on schedule. The very low carry-over under most Special Programmes, however, may require that these programmes delay implementation until fresh contributions are forthcoming. Therefore, the High Commissioner appeals to donor Governments for an early announcement of their generous contributions to both General and Special Programmes to avoid a suspension of UNHCR's activities in 1999.

(Note: Tabular annexes not included in this online version. See your nearest UN Depository Library.)