How is the United Nations funded?
Total revenue of the UN system

Total UN funding has grown steadily over the past decade. In 2010, the total revenue of the UN was US$ 39.6 billion. By 2021, total nominal revenue amounted to US$ 65.9 billion, an increase of US$ 3.3 billion or 5% compared to 2020. A detailed breakdown, by financial instrument, of total funding for 47 UN entities in 2021 can be explored in Table 1.

Card: Total UN nominal revenue was US$ 66 billion in 2021
Figure 1
Funding of the UN system by financing instrument, 2021 (US$ billion)
Key insights in a flash
Funding to the UN system increased by 5% in 2021
UN funding is earmarked to 61%

Source: Chief Executives Board for Coordination (CEB)

However, due to rising inflation rates and fluctuating exchange rates, UN funding actually decreased in real US$ value in 2021, thereby undermining the value of contributions. As illustrated in Figure 3, UN system revenue in real terms amounted to US$ 62.3 billion in 2021 compared to US$ 62.6 billion in 2020.

Figure 3
Nominal and real UN system funding, 2010–2021 (US$ billion)
figure 3 nominal-and-real-un-system-funding-2010-2021-us-billion
Key insights in a flash
UN funding decreased in real value 2021 due to rising inflation and fluctuating exchange rates.

Note: Real values expressed in constant 2020 US dollars by applying deflators for resource flows from OECD-DAC countries, which consider both inflation and exchange rate movements.

Source: Chief Executives Board for Coordination (CEB) and OECD

Table 1
Total revenue of the UN system by entity and financing instrument, 2021 and 2010-2021 (US$ million)