The Fund is dedicated to reversing the deterioration of the Earth's ozone layer. It was established in 1991 to assist developing countries meet their Montreal Protocol commitments. It is managed by an Executive Committee with equal membership from developed and developing countries. The Fund Secretariat in Montreal assists the Committee in this task. Since 1991, the Fund has approved activities including industrial conversion, technical assistance, training and capacity building worth over US $3.6 billion.
The Multilateral Fund was established by a decision of the Second Meeting of the Parties to the Montreal Protocol (London, June 1990) and began its operation in 1991. The main objective of the Fund is to assist developing country parties to the Montreal Protocol whose annual level of consumption of the ozone depleting substances (ODS) chlorofluorocarbons (CFCs) and halons is less than 0.3 kilograms per capita to comply with the control measures of the Protocol. Currently, 147 of the 197 Parties to the Montreal Protocol meet these criteria. They are referred to as Article 5 countries.
The Multilateral Fund is managed by an Executive Committee with equal membership from developed and developing countries. The Fund Secretariat located in Montreal, assists the Executive Committee in this task. Projects and activities supported by the Fund are implemented by four international implementing agencies.
Contributions to the Multilateral Fund from developed countries, or non-Article 5 countries, are assessed according to the UN scale of assessment. As at 7 December 2018 the contributions made to the Multilateral Fund by some 45 countries (including Countries with Economies in Transition or CEIT countries) totalled over US$ 3.89 billion.
The Fund has been replenished ten times: US $240 million (1991-1993), US $455 million (1994-1996), US $466 million (1997-1999), US $440 million (2000-2002), US $474 million (2003-2005), US $400.4 million (2006-2008), US $400 million (2009-2011), US $400 million (2012-2014), US $437.5 million (2015-2017), and US $500 million (2018-2020). The total budget for the 2018-2020 triennium is US $540 million: $34 million of that budget will be provided from anticipated contributions due to the Multilateral Fund and other sources for the 2015‑2017 triennium, and that $6 million will be provided from interest accruing to the Fund during the 2018–2020 triennium.
The Multilateral Fund has also received additional voluntary contributions from a group of donor countries intended to finance fast-start activities for the implementation of the HFC phase-down. As at 30 November 2018, additional voluntary contributions stood at US $25,513,071.
Since the inception of the Fund, the Executive Committee has held 82 meetings. During these meetings, the Executive Committee approved the expenditure of approximately US $3.77 billion for the implementation of projects including industrial conversion, technical assistance, training and capacity building that will result in the phase-out of 468,128 ODP tonnes of controlled substances once all these projects have been implemented. As of the end of December 2017, 488,909 ODP tonnes had already been phased out.
To facilitate phase-out by Article 5 countries, the Executive Committee has approved 144 country programmes, 144 HCFC phase-out management plans and has funded the establishment and the operating costs of ozone offices in 145 Article 5 countries.
The Executive Committee has also approved a total of US $33.6 million for projects for fast-start implementation of the HFC phase-down.