Range of services - ways in which UNV specialists make a difference
Through its international and national UN Volunteers and field
workers, UNV has the capacity to further expand its already broad range of
community-focused initiatives which directly address the need to involve people
at grass root level consciously and creatively in finding their own development
paths. In building the bridge beyond crisis, the UNV programme bolsters local
coping mechanisms of communities affected by war, drought etc. and thus reduces
UNV has integrated rapidly into the new UN system framework for
emergency response brought about as a result of General Assembly resolution
46/182 of 19 December 1991. This called for strengthened UN system capacity to
deal with emergencies, and to develop stand-by rosters of qualified personnel.
UNV's special roster for emergency humanitarian relief now contains over 500 UNV
candidates, Typically, recruitment focuses on a limited range of usually acute
needs, such as:
• human rights protection officers
• community/social services specialists
• food aid monitors
• logistics and procurement specialists
• public health specialist
• architects and civil engineers
Other skills can also be called-in, supported by UNV's main roster
of over 5,000 candidates in 115 professional areas.
In critical cases, e.g. the newly-independent Caucasus republics,
the Horn of Africa, the Southern African drought, Rwanda, the former Yugoslavia,
etc., UNV humanitarian activities are programmed in inter-agency consultations,
often under the coordination of the Department of Humanitarian Affairs (DHA).
UNV's efforts have also involved developing close working relationships with the
UN agencies most operational in emergency work, i.e.
UNV has participated in inter-agency programming (and/or missions)
to identify needs, ensuring where appropriate that UNV support is integrated
into agencies' proposals in the consolidated appeals launched by the
Secretary-General. This has been the case with the former Yugoslavia, Eritrea,
the Horn of Africa, Somalia, Kenya, Liberia, drought in Southern Africa, Rwanda,
Mozambique, etc. UNV has also contributed its own ideas and proposals,
especially in relation to the promotion of participatory approaches to
community-based relief, rehabilitation, and recovery.
UNV is now an active partner in the Disaster Management Training
UNV/HRU's location in Geneva is ideal, as DHA-UNDRO is also based
there and regular Inter-Agency Working Group meetings in relation to finalising
consolidated DHA appeals are very frequently held in Geneva. Similarly, the
largest concentration of humanitarian agencies, both within and outside the UN
system, in the heritage of Henri Dunant, is based in Geneva - ICRC, IFRCS, ICVA,
UNHCR, WHO etc, donor country missions and NGOs.
Three major kinds of mass human distress have become the prevalent
areas of UNV humanitarian support in recent years:
• Helping victims of war and conflict
Establishing a camp for
demobilised combatants in
Working with victims of drought and famine
• Supporting victims of
natural and man-made disasters.