Cover Image
close this bookMeeting the Humanitarian Challenge - UNV's Work Between Conflict and Development (United Nations Volunteers, 44 p.)
View the document(introduction...)
View the documentForeword
close this folderIntroduction
View the documentGlobal context and role of the United Nations system
View the documentBackground to UNV involvement in humanitarian assistance
View the documentBasic objective of UNVs humanitarian relief
View the documentProgress in implementation of the approach
View the documentFeatures of UNV humanitarian assistance
View the documentRange of services - ways in which UNV specialists make a difference
close this folderUNV humanitarian action in the field: Effort and impact
View the documentThe link to development: UNDP's strategic role
View the documentSupporting field coordination of response to complex emergencies
View the documentIdentifying the neediest and their survival strategies
View the documentRe-focusing and fine-tuning relief efforts
View the documentDelivery of urgent relief supplies to emergency victims
View the documentShelter and services for refugees and displacees
View the documentRepatriation/return of refugees and displacees
View the documentMonitoring and promoting respect for human rights, and enabling protection
View the documentConfidence- and capacity-building at community level
View the documentPreventing conflict and mending bridges between communities
View the documentFocusing on the special needs of women and vulnerable groups
View the documentEducation as therapy and for employment
View the documentRestoring food self-sufficiency
View the documentRebuilding primary health care and preventing epidemics
View the documentDeveloping new opportunities for sustainable recovery
close this folderCurrent concerns and future perspectives
View the documentDrawing from experience in the field
View the documentReducing scope for conflict: demobilisation
View the documentParticipatory peace-building dynamics
View the documentPromoting human rights and education for peace
View the documentDisaster prevention and preparedness at community level
View the documentPutting human development back on the agenda
View the documentAdministrative support to UNVs in humanitarian assignments
View the documentH... for Humanity: serving a purpose... for millions in need
View the documentAcronyms

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 vulnerability.

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
• water specialists
• community/social services specialists
• sanitation engineers
• food aid monitors
• refugee/displacee counsellors
• logistics and procurement specialists
• administrative/finance officers
• public health specialist
• epidemiologists
• 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 Programme (DMTP).

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
• Working with victims of drought and famine
• Supporting victims of natural and man-made disasters.

Establishing a camp for demobilised combatants in Mozambique.