United Nations


The UNDP (UN Development Programme) runs a variety of projects and initiatives. To find out the projects in your country which could be possible sources of funding, go to the UNDP website, click on 'UNDP in the world' at the top of the page, click on your country, and then on 'Our work' at the top of the page. Towards the bottom there is a section called 'Projects and initiatives'.  

In many cases, the direct beneficiaries of the funds administered by the UNDP will be state agencies. However, the Small Grants Programme of the Global Environment Facility, for example, provides financial and technical support directly to local communities running projects that conserve and restore the environment while enhancing people's well-being and livelihoods. The programme provides grants of up to $50,000 to these communities, including indigenous people, community-based organisations and other non-governmental groups for projects in biodiversity, climate change mitigation and adaptation, land degradation and sustainable forest management, international waters and chemicals. 

One beneficiary of the programme has been MIMAT, a grassroots indigenous women's organisation in La Mosquitia, Honduras. With the grant, in 2003, they removed and recycled rubbish from the town of Puerto Lempira, the Laguna Karataska and surrounding wetlands. Since then, MIMAT has expanded its activities which are now largely self-financed.  



There are two UN Trust Funds directed specifically at women – for Gender Equality and to End Violence against Women. The grants are awarded annually through a highly competitive process.


The UN Trust Fund for Gender Equality

The Fund seeks to support innovative and high-impact programmes that yield concrete results in the lives of women, especially those who are marginalized (including rural women, young women, domestic workers and indigenous women), their families and communities.  The Fund’s has financed programmes working on issues ranging from land rights to the green economy, to building the political leadership of marginalized women.


The UN Trust Fund to End Violence against Women

The Fund seeks to prevent violence against women and girls by empowering groups especially at risk of violence, including adolescent girls and indigenous or ethnic minority women, and engaging strategic groups such as men and boys, and traditional leaders in prevention efforts. 

It also seeks to expand the access of women and girl survivors of violence to services, and strengthen the implementation of laws, policies and action plans on violence against women and girls.


Indigenous peoples

UN Voluntary Fund for Indigenous Peoples

The Fund provides grants to enable indigenous peoples to attend UN meetings on indigenous issues, as well as supporting human rights training in Geneva and New York to increase their capacity to participate effectively in them.

DOCIP (Indigenous Peoples' Center for Documentation, Research and Information) provides more information on UN funds for indigenous delegates and organisations.