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Overall programme and funding projections for 1997 and 1998

Executive Committee Meetings

Overall programme and funding projections for 1997 and 1998

7 January 1998



1. An update of UNHCR programme and funding projections for 1997 and 1998 was presented to the forty-eighth session of the Executive Committee (document A/AC.96/884/Add.2 and Add.4). The present document provides further updated information on programme expenditure and funding projections for 1997 and a summary of programme and funding projections for 1998. A list of 1997 contributions as at 1 December 1997 is also attached (as annex 6 to this document).


2. The attached Annex 1 provides an update as at 1 December 1997 of tentative estimates for total projected expenditure for activities programmed in 1997 and a forecast of expected income for 1998.

A. General Programmes

3. At the present time, it is anticipated that General Programmes expenditure for 1997 is likely to total some $ 390.9 million, which would be $ 61.7 million less than the approved target of $ 452.6 million. This reduced expenditure reflects the results of a programme/budgetary review undertaken in late 1997 which took into account the very serious projected shortfall in contributions to General Programmes. During the review, reductions were identified in all regions with the most significant being in Africa, CASWANAME and Europe. The reductions in some countries were primarily the result of developments leading to under-implementation, while in others, lack of funds resulted in the curtailment of important activities.

4. Contributions to General Programmes as at 1 December 1997 totalled $ 300.4 million. With an additional $ 30.2 million in unobligated funds brought forward from 1996, and a further $ 51.5 million expected in 1997 income (this amount includes some $ 32 million tentatively estimated as secondary income for 1997), the total projected expenditure for 1997 of $ 390.9 million is still not fully funded. It is unclear, as at 16 December 1997, if there will be any carry-over into 1998 of unobligated funds. A table showing contributions to General Programmes in 1996 and 1997 in both national currencies and in US dollars will be issued in late January 1998, which will highlight the combined effect of exchange rate losses and reductions in contributions in national currencies.

5. Should there be no carry-over, 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 (A/AC.96/503/Rev.6).

B. Funds and Reserves

6. Allocations made as at 1 December 1997 from the Emergency Fund are shown in Annex 2. The unallocated balance remaining at 1 December 1997 was $ 20.7 million.

7. With regard to the Voluntary Repatriation Fund, total allocations, less subsequent cancellations, up to 1 December 1997 amounted to $ 18.1 million and are shown in Annex 3. Against these allocations, $ 17.3 million had been obligated as at 1 December 1997.

8. As at 1 December 1997, allocations totalling $ 20.3 million had been made from the 1997 Programme Reserve. Details of the allocations are provided in Annex 4, which also shows the remaining balance available of $ 16.8 million.

C. Special Programmes

9. With regard to 1997 Special Programmes (as shown in Annex 1), the total projected expenditure amounts to $ 577.9 million. Some 30 per cent of these pertain to UNHCR's participation in the Programme of Humanitarian Assistance in the former Yugoslavia and some 23 per cent concern the Great Lakes Operation. It is anticipated that some $ 89.3 million in unobligated funds from various Special Programmes may be carried forward to 1998


10. A review of 1998 General and Special Programmes was completed in late 1997, and a number of budgetary adjustments were identified in the light of changed requirements and a projected shortfall in available funds. As shown in Annex 5, the total 1998 projected needs based on currently known or anticipated requirements amount to $ 1,098.4 million. Of this amount, $ 440 million concern General Programmes, $ 635.4 million are Special Programmes and $ 23 million pertain to the United Nations Regular Budget. The General Programmes target of $ 440 million, approved by the forty-eighth session of the Executive Committee, represents the assessed needs of the Office. UNHCR does not at this time propose a reduction in this figure, although if the level of new contributions in 1998 does not surpass that of 1997, this issue may have to be reviewed later in the year. The estimates for Special Programmes include tentative projected needs for repatriation programmes planned in 1998, as well as an amount of $ 187 million for the Programme of Humanitarian Assistance in the former Yugoslavia and $ 100.3 million for the Great Lakes Operation.

11. The Office notes with appreciation the results of the November 1997 Pledging Conference for 1998 General Programmes. At that Conference, held in New York, pledges for some $ 101 million were announced. This is $ 99 million less than the amount pledged in 1996 for the 1997 General Programmes, due mainly to the fact that a major donor was unable to announce a pledge at the Conference. However, given the fact that the carry-over from 1997 to 1998 will at best be greatly reduced, funding requirements for 1998 General Programmes are considerable and the High Commissioner appeals to donor Governments for an early announcement of additional and increased contributions, so as to permit timely implementation of UNHCR's core programmes.

(Note: Tabular Annexes 1-6 not included in this online version. See your nearest UN Depository Library.)

Annex 7 Draft Decision

Programme and Funding Projections

The Standing Committee,

Recalling the decision of the forty-eighth session of the Executive Committee on programme, administrative and financial matters,

OP1 Notes that the overall needs for 1998, based on currently known or anticipated requirements, now amount to $ 1,098.4 million, of which projected needs for General Programmes remain at $ 440 million, as approved by the Executive Committee at its forty-eighth session, and those for Special Programmes at $ 635.4 million, while the remaining $ 23 million pertain to the United Nations Regular Budget;

OP2 Expresses serious concern at the trend in the level of contributions to General Programmes and, in view of the importance of the full funding of these Programmes, acknowledges the appeal of the High Commissioner to donor Governments for further early announcements of contributions to these Programmes, as well as to Special Programmes, in a spirit of equitable burden-sharing, so as to permit the continuation and timely implementation of these Programmes.