Hyo Jeong Jung, an international UN Volunteer fully funded by the Republic of Korea, at an event on the occasion of International Volunteer Day in Kyrgyzstan.  UNV, 2019

Supporting WFP in delivering food assistance and improving nutrition in Eurasia

As the leading humanitarian organization addressing hunger, the World Food Programme assists nearly 100 million people in 83 countries each year. In 2019, WFP in the Eurasia region welcomed two UN Volunteer specialists from the Republic of Korea, who contributed to its framework through monitoring and research.

Hyo Jeong Jung, engaged with WFP in Kyrgyzstan, has just completed her assignment as UN Volunteer Migration and Employment Specialist. She successfully developed a research paper on migration and food security that will now help the programme team to integrate migration into a new food security project.

“Amid the global COVID-19 response, we are facing many challenges to achieve our priority – food security and nutrition,” says Keiko Izushi, Deputy Country Director of WFP in Kyrgyzstan. “In the CIS region and elsewhere in the world, migrants have lost jobs, and are stranded at the border with a high risk of contracting infections. Economic remittances covered more than one-third of Kyrgyzstan’s GNP. The situation is unprecedented and – in the face of dwindling revenues – dire for a government working to reintegrate these returning migrants.”

My research paper included primary field and secondary desk research, and field monitoring prior to COVID-19 allowed me to travel widely. I conducted surveys and focus group interviews with 100 project beneficiaries in the southern regions, to assess their perception of migration, and understand how WFP could improve the situation for labour migrants. –Hyo Jeong Jung, UN Volunteer Migration and Employment Specialist with WFP, Kyrgyzstan

Hyo’s research became an important innovation for the WFP country team of 80 persons that used it to develop a related framework. WFP offices in CIS countries also found it useful as a profound analysis of migration and food security in the context of the Coronavirus.

“The world cannot shy away from the socio-economic effects of COVID-19 and lockdowns; as a result, many more vulnerable people are in need of our assistance.  For complete recovery, it is important to appreciate the need for more young professionals who are fit and equipped with new ideas and the to serve humanity. In this context, I value the partnership of UNV with WFP more than ever and would like it to be strengthened further. --Keiko Izushi, Deputy Country Director of WFP, Kyrgyzstan

“I wanted field experience to become a researcher who understands the world that she is studying. Now I know the geography, food situation, and state of migration in the region well,” Hyo shares.

“The paper unleashed the full potential of WFP to carry out its work. It will also contribute to the development of WFP’s migration framework in the CIS region. There is hardly research on food security and migration in Kyrgyzstan. I found the work meaningful, and the knowledge I acquired helped me contribute to the issue of labour and migration.” -- UN Volunteer Hyo Jeong Jung.    

Before joining WFP in Kyrgyzstan, Hyo served as a researcher with the ILO in Geneva.

UN Volunteer Hyo Jeune Jung during a monitoring visit in Kyrgyzstan.  UN Volunteer Hyo Jeong Jung, during a field visit to the southern regions of Kyrgyzstan for migration research. ©WFP 2019

As a UN Volunteer Monitoring and Evaluation Specialist with WFP in Turkey, Keeyoul Yoon has been leading the Programme’s monitoring and evaluation activities for refugees in camps for 10 months.

Following the outbreak of COVID-19, I contributed to the transformation of monitoring tools by converting them to a format compatible with telephone surveys. --Keeyoul Yoon, UN Volunteer Monitoring and Evaluation Specialist

Furthermore, Keeyoul assisted in designing specific surveys to assess the impact of COVID-19 on refugees in camps during the outbreak. He explains, “In the past ten months, my primary task was Post Distribution Monitoring (PDM), which included survey designs, data extraction, data cleaning and analysis, as well as reporting.”

Another milestone reached during the initial assignment was participating in an intensive tracking exercise, in collaboration with the World Bank and TRC, minimizing attrition in panel surveys by visiting non-respondent households.  

During the past year, Keeyoul was able to master the WFP Turkey specific approaches. After learning in such a short time, he helped his team members improve their skills in analysis. Keeyoul led the intensive, annual country office reporting exercise with high technical competence. --Edgar Wabyona, Head of Monitoring and Evaluation at WFP

UN Volunteer Keeyoul Yoon, serving with WFP in Turkey UN Volunteer Keeyoul Yoon, serving with WFP in Turkey. ©UNV 2019