|Meeting the Humanitarian Challenge - UNV's Work Between Conflict and Development (United Nations Volunteers, 44 p.)|
|UNV humanitarian action in the field: Effort and impact|
The UNV Programme is constantly searching for new ways of providing opportunities for sustainable recovery, particularly in the aftermath of either natural or man made catastrophes. For example, in the Philippines, a country prone to recurrent natural disasters such as typhoons, earthquakes and volcanic eruptions, UN Volunteers have over the years been involved in community-based initiatives to help communities get back on their feet. Projects ranging from providing new types of housing or shelter to better withstand natural calamities to income- generating projects in fisheries have strengthened local coping.
Similarly in Eritrea, two UNV specialists based in Massawa on the Red Sea are very much involved in a Government/UNDP fisheries reactivation programme for the Semhar province. Following Eritrea's Independence in 1991, the Progressive Government of Eritrea proposed a reactivation of the Red Seas fisheries project in Assab and also in the fishing villages of Dhalak Islands and the Massawa area. In 1992, the Government and UNDP signed an agreement to release funds to this project, and FAO requested UN Volunteers to work on the rehabilitation programme. Presently two of the major aspects of this programme are being managed by UNV specialists.
In 1992, UNV Moinul Islam from Bangladesh set up an institution for credit for schemes to supply fishermen with essential fishing gear, boats and engines. This has been running very successfully for over a year and has a 90% payback record. The UNV has also carried out with the local fishing community collective marketing of fish and fish products in the province. In addition the institution also runs a welfare service. Simultaneously, UNV Ahmed Sabrie Siad has with the help of local fishermen recently completed the construction of a small factory which is being used for smoking fish locally caught. The products being prepared will shortly be test-marketed. If the feedback is positive, the possibilities for exporting the products will be explored. Both projects very much reflect confidence and capacity-building.
Elsewhere, to take the example of Botswana, thirty UNV civil engineers are embarking on a rural public works programme aimed at improving rural infrastructure and creating non-farm jobs as an alternative source of income for those whose livelihoods have been devastated by the recent drought.