From the Global South
Because of the global pandemic, in 2020, I met fewer UN Volunteers than before. Yet, in 2020, I was most inspired by them and their critical role for the UN and in communities around the world. This report gives you a panoramic view of the achievements of UN Volunteers during the year.
Toily Kurbanov, Executive Coordinator
COVID-19 presented unprecedented challenges in 2020. Partners turned to UNV to help scale up preparedness and response efforts and enhance local capacity. By year end, UNV mobilized over 1,000 volunteers in 105 countries to serve with 26 entities on COVID-related assignments. Of these, 85 per cent were national UN Volunteers, and 54 per cent were women.
Online volunteering opportunities increased, with United Nations entities putting forward a total of 1,240 online assignments. Of these, 320 were focused on COVID-19. UNV's worldwide reach to highly motivated professionals unlocked significant capacity for partners and resulted in unprecedented online volunteer engagement
An integral member of the United Nations family, UNV invested US $2 million from its Special Voluntary Fund (SVF) to rapidly deploy national UN Volunteers and strengthen system-wide action on COVID-19. In 2020, 83 UN Volunteers were deployed to support inter-agency coordination, joint programmes, and the public health response around the globe.Read more
UNV saw increased demand for mobilization of volunteers and deployed 9,459 volunteers to 60 UN entities. For the first time in UNV's history, the number of national UN Volunteers exceeded that of international UN Volunteers by 12 per cent.
In 2020, UNV fielded 902 UN Community Volunteers and 281 UN Expert Volunteers, a testimony to the adaptability of the new volunteer categories and the experience and perspectives they offer. Furthermore, the organization engaged 88 UN Volunteers with disabilities. The number of candidates self-reporting disabilities in UNV's global talent pool increased by 38 per cent to 4,590.
In 2020, women represented 52 per cent of all volunteers, yet more work is needed to ensure consistent representation across the regions. For the first time in the history of the UN Assistance Mission in Afghanistan, 30 national UN Youth Volunteers, all women, were mobilized and incorporated the voices and needs of women into the mission's work.Read more
UNV continued to be a powerful advocate for volunteerism and civic engagement in peace and development. Valued contributions from partners to the Special Voluntary Fund were dedicated in part to volunteerism research and advocacy, system-wide action on volunteering, rapid response and innovative solutions.
UNV and the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies convened a virtual Global Technical Meeting, mandated through the Plan of Action to Integrate Volunteering. The online event brought together 70 speakers from nearly 60 countries and over 4,000 participants. This collective engagement culminated in a call to action on volunteering in the Decade of Action.
Eleven Member States called on UNV for technical support to embed volunteering principles in national strategies. On the United Nations Day for South-South Cooperation, UNV launched a joint publication with the United Nations Office for South-South Cooperation, featuring three case studies on South-South volunteerism from Cambodia, China and Thailand.Read more
Refer to our partnering pages for detailed information on our collaboration with key UN entity partners: https://www.unv.org/united-nations-partners.