UNCDF was created in 1966 by the UN General Assembly. It is an autonomous, voluntarily funded UN organization, affiliated with UNDP.
UNDP’s Executive Board serves simultaneously as UNCDF’s Executive Board. The Executive Board – formally the UNDP/UNFPA/UNOPS Executive Board – meets three times a year and is made up of 36 member states from regional groupings, serving on a rotational basis. Programme countries comprise roughly two thirds of the Executive Board, and donor countries one third. The Executive Board falls under the authority of the Economic and Social Council and, ultimately, the General Assembly of the UN.
UNDP’s Administrator serves simultaneously as UNCDF’s Managing Director. Authority for managing most aspects of UNCDF has been delegated to the Executive Secretary.
UNCDF raises its own funding, separately from UNDP. Funding comes from UN member states, foundations and the private sector. UNCDF’s funding has increased substantially in recent years, with total income now roughly $60 million per year. Private foundations are now among UNCDF’s largest donors.