Update on Programme and Funding Projections for 1997 and Tentative Estimates for the 1998 General Programmes Target
UPDATE ON PROGRAMME AND FUNDING PROJECTIONS FOR 1997 AND TENTATIVE ESTIMATES FOR THE 1998 GENERAL PROGRAMMES TARGET
1. An update of UNHCR programme and funding projections for 1997 was presented to the seventh meeting (30 April and 1 May 1997) of the Standing Committee of the Executive Committee of the High Commissioner's Programme (document EC/47/SC/CRP.16). The present document provides further updated information on these projections and some tentative estimates for the 1998 General Programmes target. A brief update on developments with regard to the Regular Budget, is also included. In accordance with a request made during the seventh meeting of the Standing Committee, additional explanations on the use of allocations made under the Voluntary Repatriation Fund and the Programme Reserve are included in the relevant annexes.
2. Estimated programme needs and the status of income as at 1 May 1997, including current projections for further income, are summarized in Annex I. This annex has also been modified to incorporate previous year's, in this case 1996, expenditure information.
II. 1997 GENERAL PROGRAMMES
3. It will be recalled that the Executive Committee, at its forty-seventh session in October 1996, approved the 1997 General Programmes target of $ 452.6 million. This target includes:
a) The Emergency Fund ($ 25 million), against which allocations totalling $ 1.2 million had been made by 1 May 1997, leaving an unallocated balance of $ 23.8 million (Annex II refers);
b) The Voluntary Repatriation Fund ($ 20 million), against which allocations totalling
$ 15.4 million had been made by 1 May 1997, leaving an unallocated balance of $ 4.6 million (Annex III refers). Most of these allocations were made to fund new repatriation programmes, pending the launching of appeals; and
c) The Programme Reserve ($ 37.1 million). Of the initial 1997 Programme Reserve approved by the Executive Committee in October 1996, $ 18.4 million were allocated by 1 May 1997, leaving a balance of $ 18.7 million for the remainder of 1997 (Annex IV refers).
III. 1997 SPECIAL PROGRAMMES
4. Projections for 1997 Special Programmes currently amount to $ 745.4 million. These projections take into account updates under programmes for which funding appeals have been issued in coordination with the Department of Humanitarian Affairs (DHA). The only significant change in Special Programmes requirements, since these were submitted in Annex I of document EC/47/SC/CRP.16, concerns the Mali/Niger repatriation programme.
IV. SUMMARY OF OVERALL PROGRAMME AND FUNDING PROJECTIONS FOR 1997
5. As shown in Annex I, against projected total (excluding the Regular Budget) needs in 1997 of $ 1,198 million (General Programmes $ 452.6 million and Special Programmes $ 745.4 million), on 1 May 1997, $ 630.9 million was available ($ 188.3 million unobligated funds carried over from 1996 and $ 442.6 million in 1997 income). Further 1997 income was projected at $ 403.4 million. Currently, actual and projected availability of funds is thus $ 1,034.3 million, or $ 163.7 million short of projected total needs. The High Commissioner appeals to donor Governments for an early announcement of further contributions, so as to permit continuation and timely implementation of the various assistance programmes.
6. The above projections include budgetary allocations for the implementation of Project Delphi. Information on progress to date is provided in document EC/47/SC/CRP.23.
7. A list of 1997 contributions to UNHCR is attached hereto as Annex V. A more update list will be made available during the Standing Committee's meeting.
V. TENTATIVE ESTIMATES FOR 1998 GENERAL PROGRAMMES
8. The tentative 1998 General Programmes target has been determined by the Operations Review Board at a level of some $ 440 million, including $ 25 million for the Emergency Fund,
$ 20 million for the Voluntary Repatriation Fund and $ 35.9 million for the Programme Reserve
(10 per cent of programmed activities). Operations are in the process of establishing detailed budgets for presentation and approval by the Board at the end of May 1997. Further information will be presented to the ninth session of the Standing Committee and to the forty-eighth session of the Executive Committee in October 1997.
9. UNHCR would have wished to be able to at least maintain, if not increase, the level of General Programmes, within the framework of the decision on budget structure taken by the Executive Committee at its forty-sixth session (paragraph 22 of document A/AC.96/860 refers). Even if contributions to the General Programmes and secondary income in 1997 were to be at the same level as in 1996, however, available income would be reduced by some $ 20 million, because of the reduced carry-over from 1996. The tentative 1998 target, although some $ 12.6 million lower than that approved for 1997, will therefore probably require an increase in contributions. Thus, the lower level is explained by the critical importance of setting a General Programmes target that can be funded.
VI. UNITED NATIONS REGULAR BUDGET
10. In document EC/47/SC/CRP.5, presented to the sixth meeting of the Standing Committee, it was pointed out that the contribution from the United Nations Regular Budget to UNHCR in support of 244 administrative support posts at Headquarters had been reduced. In the 1994 and 1995 biennium, the Regular Budget contribution amounted to $ 51,561,300. For the 1996-1997 budget, this contribution was reduced to $ 50,139,100. In light of this diminishing support, UNHCR had kept a number of the 244 administrative support posts vacant and absorbed the costs of several other posts under General Programmes. UNHCR has now been informed that for the 1998 and 1999 biennium, it is proposed that the number of administrative support posts in UNHCR to be funded under the Regular Budget would be reduced by 24 and that an estimated amount of
$ 47,335,600 had been budgeted for the 220 posts. In addition, a further $ 2,008,600 is proposed for general temporary assistance, to provide UNHCR with increased flexibility in the use of resources for administrative services. In view of the financial constraints currently faced by the United Nations and the decision by the Secretary-General to discontinue 1,000 posts worldwide, UNHCR could not safeguard its 244 posts through the strategy employed to date, i.e. through vacancy management and supplementary General Programmes funding.
11. It was also noted in the same conference room paper that the United Nations Office in Geneva (UNOG) intended to redeploy to the UNHCR chapter of the Regular Budget some
$ 3.3 million provided in the Regular Budget for Administration and Management at UNOG, intended to cover part of the rent and maintenance charges for UNHCR's Headquarters building. UNHCR has now been informed that, in the 1998-1999 budget, it is proposed that only some 40 per cent of this amount will be covered ($ 1,136,200). A further $ 88,300 has been proposed for part of UNHCR's expenditure for supplies and materials. The total proposed allocation for UNHCR under the Regular Budget for the 1998 and 1999 biennium would thus amount to $ 50,568,700.
12. UNHCR will continue to pursue the issue of the nature and magnitude of the Regular Budget support provided to UNHCR with the United Nations Budget Division and will keep the Executive Committee fully informed.
(Note: Tabular Annexes I-V not included in this online version. See your nearest UN Depository Library.)
Annex VI DRAFT DECISION ON PROGRAMME AND FUNDING PROJECTIONS
The Standing Committee,
Recalling the decision of the forty-seventh session of the Executive Committee on programme, funding and administrative matters,
OP1 Notes that the overall revised needs for 1997 (excluding the Regular Budget) are currently estimated at some $ 1.2 billion, of which projected needs for General Programmes remain at
$ 452.6 million, as approved by the Executive Committee at its forty-seventh session, and those for Special Programmes are $ 745.4 million;
OP2 Notes also the tentative budget estimates of $ 440 million for 1998 General Programmes as set out in document EC/47/SC/CRP.34, which includes a Programme Reserve of 10 per cent of programmed activities;
OP3 Further notes the current level of contributions to UNHCR's programmes and acknowledges the appeal of the High Commissioner to donor Governments for further announcements of contributions, so as to permit continuation and timely implementation of the various assistance programmes;
OP4 Notes the recent developments in relation to UNHCR's share of the United Nations Regular Budget and requests the High Commissioner to continue discussions with the Secretary-General on the level and form of the contribution from the Regular Budget.