UNFPA Resource Allocation System

In 2007, the Executive Board of the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) and the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) adopted the so-called Resource Allocation System (RAS) to decide on the allocation of country programme resources for UNFPA.  The countries are placed in different categories (A, B, C) based on how far they are from achieving the thresholds of the goals of the International Conference and Population and Development (ICPD) and ICPD+5.  This is a two-step process. The first step is to determine country classification based on a country’s need and ability to finance its own development. The second step covers the principles and methodologies for determining indicative resource allocation to the quadrants. The resource allocation system, 2018-2021, builds on the key principles and parameters of the 2014-2017 resource allocation system, with some minor adjustments to respond to external and internal developments and to commitments in the strategic plan, 2018-2021.

Compared to previous RAS, the new system has one clear advantage of the adjustments is that the resource allocation system and country classification are enhanced through the strengthened need criteria, which now have a stronger focus on addressing data gaps in monitoring key ICPD-related SDGs, addressing humanitarian risk, vulnerability and fragility, and they fully reflect the strategic results as defined in the strategic plan results framework, 2018-2021.

Under the RAS, all LDCs are automatically included in category A, even though the UN LDC criteria are different from those employed by the RAS.  At present, there are 66 countries in group A.  The Executive Board of the UNDP and UNFPA set the target of providing 71-73 per cent of the programme resources from the regular resources to countries in group A, though no target is set for LDCs.


Utilization by the LDCs:

In 2016, UNFPA spent 55.5 per cent ($114.8 million) of its country programme regular resources expenses in the least developed countries.

Availability of Smooth Transition Procedures:


  1. UNFPA Website
  2. UNFPA Executive Board Session Documents
  3. UNFPA Statistical and financial review, 2016
  4. UNFPA Strategic Plan 2018-2021
  5. UNFPA Strategic Plan 2018-2021, Annex 4, Revised business model and resource allocation system

 Last updated on 19 April 2018