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Key UN development agencies

UN development agencies with which Ireland works closely with include UNDP, UNICEF, UNFPA and UN Women

United Nations Development Programme (UNDP)

The United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) is the largest UN development organisation. It also coordinates the UN development system. UNDP aims to help countries to eradicate poverty and to reduce significantly inequalities and exclusion.

We gave €8.5 million in funding in 2014 to support UNDP’s work. This work includes achievement of the Millennium Development Goals, ensuring fair elections, promoting gender equality, preventing crises, recovery from humanitarian emergencies, and supporting action by the UN in developing countries.

In providing funding, we also play an active role in supporting and providing oversight of the work being done. Ireland was elected a member of the Bureau for 2014, meaning that we also represent the views of European countries, the US, Canada, Australia and New Zealand.


United Nations International Children’s Emergency Fund (UNICEF)

UNICEF is both a humanitarian organisation and a development agency. It is an advocate for children’s rights and mobilises political will and material resources to help developing countries develop pro-child policies and deliver services for children and their families. It is one of the larger agencies in the UN development system, with a budget of approximately $2.3 billion for 2012-2013.

UNICEF is an important partner for Ireland. UNICEF plays a key role in priority areas for us which include maternal and child under-nutrition, HIV and AIDS, and emergency humanitarian response.

Ireland and UNICEF work particularly closely on combating hunger. We played a key role in the development of the Scaling Up Nutrition (SUN) Movement which tackles under-nutrition in the 1,000 days from pregnancy to when a child is two years old.


United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA)

The United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) helps countries to improve reproductive health and family planning services; prevent the transmission of HIV/AIDS, particularly among young people and women; empower women and girls; and develop population policies that support sustainable development and poverty eradication.

Ireland is providing funding of €3.1 million in 2014 to support work on issues such as helping developing countries draw up population policies. We also play an active support and oversight role in relation to UNFPA.


United Nations Entity for Gender Equality and the Empowerment of Women (UN Women)

UN Women is the UN organisation dedicated to advancing gender equality and the empowerment of women worldwide.

Ireland provided €1.5 million in 2014 to UN Women to support our priorities. These include ending violence against women, political and economic empowerment of women, and strengthening the role of women in peace and security and in humanitarian emergencies. We also work to ensure proper oversight of the work of UN Women and in 2013 our Mission served on the Executive Board, representing our own views and the views of European countries, the US, Canada, Australia, Japan and New Zealand.

Ireland also chaired the negotiations in the Second Committee of the General Assembly in 2013 on the Resolution on Women in Development. We also negotiated on behalf of the EU in similar negotiations in the Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC) in 2013.

We also support the UN Women programme 'Evidence and Data for Gender Equality' (EDGE). This is a joint programme of UN Women and the UN Statistics Division which aims to increase the availability and use of gender equality statistics in relation to education, employment, and asset ownership. Ireland is providing funding of €434,000 over 3 years.

Key UN Development Agencies

  • UNDP
  • UN Women