UNHCR Digital Hub of Treasury Solutions (DHoTS)

Switzerland supports UNHCR’s Digital Hub of Treasury Solutions to create a UN Center of Excellence (CoE) in Geneva. It will facilitate the UN System’s and its partners’ access to global financial ecosystems and markets. It will trigger collaboration opportunities for advancing new cutting-edge capabilities and technologies, support preparedness and readiness in humanitarian emergencies for the delivery of aid assistance and financial inclusion and reduce financial transaction costs.

Country/region Topic Period Budget
Humanitarian Assistance & DRR
Humanitarian efficiency
01.02.2024 - 31.01.2026
CHF  1’000’000
Background With its global presence and footprint, UHCR processes payments in 137 countries and around 100 different currencies to the persons it serves, including refugees, internally displaced persons, stateless persons, and to host community members. UNHCR also makes daily payments to partners and vendors, including global staff payments. UNHCR’s and other UN entities’ ability to process payments entail complex and multi-layered systems and processes. The UN system transaction costs of yearly 60 billion USD transactions may be reduced by 1-5% through DHoTS.
Objectives The UN system and its partners are more responsive, efficient, rapid, secure, traceable, and accountable to deliver overall more humanitarian financial aid to the most vulnerable people in need.
Target groups
  • The immediate target group is composed by UNHCR and its UN Partner Agencies (so far UNICC, UNDP, IOM, UNFPA).
  • The second layer refers to their partners performing the financial transactions (Banks, financial intermediaries).
  • The third and ultimate layer are the beneficiaries and persons of concern of the UN system who overall receive more and better financial support.
Medium-term outcomes

Outcome 1: The UN and partners’ financial delivery modality is better coordinated.

Outcome 2: The DHoTS partners are better prepared, responsive, efficient and rapid and save substantial costs in providing humanitarian aid.


Expected results:  

1.1 Establish a UN Center of Excellence

1.2 Create a Project Management function

1.3 Establish a unified Governance Structure

2.1 Provide an integrated UN Financial Gateway payment infrastructure

Results from previous phases:   The DHoTS was launched by UNHCR in 2022. It provided innovative technology and payment applications. They are currently fully implemented and live, notably in Ukraine, with payments through blockchain technology. The second phase intends to consolidate the achievements by involving more UN and other partners, expand the financial flows through DHoTS and further innovate the tools and processes through a Center of Excellence.

Directorate/federal office responsible SDC
Project partners Contract partner
Private sector
United Nations Organization (UNO)
  • Swiss Private Sector
  • Office of the UN High Commissioner for Refugees
  • Malik El Bay, Dezentrum GmbH (Backstopper)

Coordination with other projects and actors
  • UNHCR Core Contributions, in particular related to resource mobilization and better coordination of the UN System, in particular ITU as well as the ITU-UNICEF GIGA initiative
  • Swiss Fintech sector, including academic and private sector partners
Budget Current phase Swiss budget CHF    1’000’000 Swiss disbursement to date CHF    605’625 Budget inclusive project partner CHF    1’950’000 Total project since first phase Swiss budget CHF   6’371 Budget inclusive project partner CHF   1’006’371
Project phases Phase 1 01.02.2024 - 31.01.2026   (Current phase)