FAO's biennial internal budget, or Regular Programme, covers internal operations, including the maintenance of the highly qualified staff who conduct field work, advise governments on policy and planning, and service a wide range of development needs. The Regular Programme is financed by contributions from member nations. It covers the costs of the organization's secretariat, its Technical Cooperation Programme, and part of several special action programs. The budget for the 2000–01 biennium was US$ 650 million; this represented a zero nominal growth budget (which was effectively a cut of US $14.9 million when inflation and other cost increases were taken into account).
The Technical Cooperation Program (TCP) was initiated in 1976. It enables the organization to provide speedy assistance to, for instance, a country when disasters affect its food and agricultural situation; practical and vocational training to complement training financed from trust funds and other sources; and short-term, small-scale supplementary technical assistance and policy advice that can be immediately useful to a country's food and agricultural situation. The amount of funds allocated to TCPs has been increasing in each FAO budget; funds rose to US $91.5 million in 2000–01 from US $77.4 million in 1992–93.
The Field Programme implements FAO's development strategies and provides assistance to governments and rural communities. Projects are usually undertaken in cooperation with national governments and other agencies. Nearly half of Field Programme finances come from national trust funds and just over 40% is provided by the United Nations Development Program. FAO contributes about 10% from the Regular Programme budget through its Technical Cooperation Programme. An increasing amount of money comes from donor countries that ask FAO to carry out part of their aid activities for them. Many of these countries also assign and finance young technicians to work in FAO projects.