UNICEF: Resource mobilization strategy

Statement on behalf of Australia, Canada, Denmark, Finland, Germany, Iceland, Italy, Luxembourg, the Netherlands, Norway, Sweden, Switzerland and the USA, at Unicef's First Regular Session of the Executive Board, delivered by Ms. Monica Svenskerud, 2 February 2016.

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Mr. President,

I am pleased to deliver this statement on behalf of Australia, Canada, Denmark, Finland, Germany, Iceland, Italy, Luxembourg, the Netherlands, Sweden, Switzerland, the United States of America and my own country Norway.

Let me start by thanking Mr. Kjørven for his presentation of UNICEF’s resource mobilization strategy.

In the era of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, expectations of the UN development system and its operational activities will rise, and funding should be both qualitatively more effective and in nominal terms more adequate. The implementation of the 2030 Agenda calls for integrated, comprehensive and multifaceted approaches. In view of this, it is becoming even more important to provide UN funds and programmes with high-qualitative non-earmarked funding.

Against this background, we welcome the resource mobilization strategy presented by UNICEF, and in particular, the ‘cases for support’ for each of the outcomes and cross-cutting areas of the Strategic Plan.

Altogether, this material is indeed the kind of information that we requested at the last Executive Board Meeting. By identifying and showing resource requirements, as well as funding gaps, we hope this effort will facilitate fundraising from a broad specter of donors.  We find the information provided a good basis for the annual structured dialogue on financing, and for the requested annual analysis of the funding situation.

We note that the ‘cases for support’ are available on the web, which is very positive. However, the figures for the resource requirements show estimated funding gaps from September 2015 only. As donors to UNICEF, we believe that the ‘cases for support’ would be even more useful if the figures are updated regularly. It would also be useful if the figures could be made available on UNICEF’s transparency portal www.open.unicef.org.

Mr. President,

We acknowledge UNICEF’s efforts to broaden and expand the base of resource partners and new partnerships with the aim to maximize flexible and predictable funding. As UNICEF also reports, it is a remaining challenge that three quarters of UNICEF’s resources come from only 20 partners.

We welcome UNICEF’s active engagement with other international partners and UN agencies to streamline work and to increase coherence in pooled funding modalities. We further welcome UNICEF’s exploration of innovative financing mechanisms, including the ones that aim to provide predictable funds for a rapid response in the case of emergencies. We also wish to use this opportunity to emphasize that regardless of where the funding comes from, Regular Resources is - and should remain - the bedrock of UNICEF’s funding. Regular Resources is a prerequisite for the organization to be strategic, responsive and predictable in its delivery of results at the request of programme countries.

On the other hand, when partners choose to earmark funds, they should bear in mind that thematic funding is UNICEF’s preferred approach as it gives both flexibility and alignment to the Strategic Plan. Thematic funding allows UNICEF and its partners to reach the most vulnerable children, improve the effectiveness of the response and achieve better results. It also helps to improve coordination and long-term planning, and reduce transaction costs.

Mr. President,

Going forward, it will be interesting to see if the ideas and activities outlined in the resource mobilization strategy, and the highlighting of the funding gaps, will have an impact in terms of increasing the share of regular resources and thematic funding.

In less than two years from now, the Board will be discussing the new Strategic Plan and will then be considering UNICEF’s future fundraising strategy, which will have to take into account (a) the implementation of the 2030 Agenda, (b) the outcome of the next QCPR and (c) the rapidly changing fundraising environment.

We look forward to following this process closely.

Thank you.