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Government Donors

United States of America

United States of America
  • ©Olga Bogatyrenko
  • View of the Capitol and its reflection in Washington DC at night

In 2007 voluntary contributions from the United States to UNESCO amounted to USD 3.3 million

Voluntary contributions have increased since the United States re-joined UNESCO in 2003. During its 19-year absence, the United States nevertheless continued to make voluntary contributions to a number of UNESCO’s activities.

As outlined in its strategic plans, the American development assistance programme serves purposes such as (1) international peace and security;(2) freedom, human rights, democratic institutions, and economic development; (3) humanitarian needs; (4) quality of people’s lives through sustainable development focused on improving health, nutrition, and education.

The US support to UNESCO is generally provided by two major sources:

  • The United States Department of State
  • The United States Agency for International Development (USAID)

  • The US Department of State

    The Department of State makes annual voluntary contribution to UNESCO that are focused mainly on cooperation with the World Heritage Centre and the Intergovernmental Oceanographic Commission. Since 2006, the annual contribution has also been supporting the International Programme for the Development of Communication (IPDC).

    In the past two years, several projects handled under funds-in-trust were signed, notably an agreement for USD 1 million in favour of the protection of cultural heritage in Kosovo. Agreements have also been signed in support of HIV preventive education in Asia with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), and in favour of the establishment of a UNESCO Cultural Heritage database.


    The United States international development cooperation is mainly implemented by the United States Agency for International Development (USAID). The Agency’s strategic objectives are economic growth, agriculture and trade; global health; democracy, conflict prevention and humanitarian assistance, which are seen as essential to sustainable poverty reduction and meeting specific Millenium Development Goals.

    USAID cooperation for development focuses on education, and funding is mostly provided on a decentralized level. The education strategy affirms USAID’s commitment to promoting equitable access to quality basic education, with particular stress on girls’ education. It also emphasizes focused efforts in workforce development and higher education. USAID asks field agencies engaged in development co-operation to work with local partners to avoid overlaps, to increase overall effectiveness, and to support host country ownership.

    In cooperation with UNESCO, large-scale initiatives in the following fields have been undertaken by USAID:

  • Teacher education in Ethiopia and Pakistan
  • Basic education in Iraq
  • Technical support to UNESCO’s action in favour of Education for All

  • Among United States' priorities in UNESCO are:

  • Education
  • Democracy, including civic education and press freedom
  • Access to potable water and natural hazards mitigation

  • Geographic priorities:

    The US shares 61% of its development cooperation in Africa and Middle East.


    Strengthening Teacher Education in Pakistan

    Transatlantic Slave Trade (TST) Education Project

    Related Links:

    U.S. Contributions to UNESCO - site of the US Mission to UNESCO

    International Contributions for Scientific, Educational, and Cultural Activities" (ICSECA)

    The U.S. National Science Foundation Establishes the First Grant Agreement with UNESCO’s Intergovernmental Oceanographic Commission for Ocean Carbon Research Support(April, 2008)


    • 26-09-2008
    Launch of the United Nations Literacy Decade (UNLD) Fund

    Database - US project.bmp
    Development of the UNESCO Cultural Heritage Laws Database
    USAID - Pakistan.bmp
    Strengthening Teacher Education in Pakistan through the Development of a Strategic Framework for Policy Dialogue, Coordination, and National Standards for Teacher Certification and Accreditation
    USAID - EFA.bmp
    Support of the Education for All (EFA) Programme through the Financing of Professionals, Administrative Personnel and approved Short-Term Consultancies
    CLC Nepal.bmp
    Supporting Internally Displaced Persons through Community Learning Centers
    USAID Iraq.bmp
    Textbook Quality Improvement Program: Support to basic Education in Iraq
    Europe and North America Latin America and the Caribbean Africa Arab States Asia Pacific