OCHA partnering with UN Volunteers


Since 1998, the United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) has been partnering with the United Nations Volunteers (UNV) programme to deliver vital humanitarian assistance to those who need it most. Over the past 10 years, 208 UN Volunteers have served with OCHA across 36 countries supporting OCHA’s mission to "mobilize and coordinate effective and principled humanitarian action in partnership with national and international actors in order to alleviate human suffering in disasters and emergencies".

UN Volunteer Associate Monitoring Officer serving with OCHA within the United Nations Monitoring Mechanism (UNMM) comparing aid cargos with consignments. Officers are responsible for the essential task of making sure that trucks going into Syria are carrying humanitarian supplies and nothing else, liaising with logistics officers of UN agencies and implementing partners. (LEVENT KULU, 2016)

UN Volunteers are experienced personnel available to support OCHA’s mandate, working within communities to provide coordinated and effective humanitarian assistance. They support OCHA’s efforts to protect people in emergencies and provide them with access to essential services, supporting international, regional and national partners to respond to humanitarian emergencies without delay.

OCHA’s UN Volunteers support ongoing humanitarian efforts linked to the Syrian crisis and neighbouring countries such as Iraq, Jordan and Turkey, as well as relief operations in some of the poorest countries in the world, including the Democratic Republic of Congo, the Central African Republic, Somalia, Sudan, Haiti, and the State of Palestine. UN Volunteers have also supported OCHA in disaster responses in Ecuador and across South and Southeast Asia.

UN Volunteers have played a critical role in supporting OCHA’s humanitarian work in the occupied Palestinian territory. Our consistent experience is that UNV deploys skilled, committed professionals who arrive ready to hit the ground running. UN Volunteers have made a significant contribution to ongoing efforts to ensure an effective, principled response to humanitarian needs stemming from the occupation, bouts of conflict, and other policies, as well as to extreme weather events. —David Carden, Head of OCHA, State of Palestine

UNV has been partnering with OCHA since it was established in 1998, building on the existing partnership with its predecessor, the Department of Humanitarian Affairs (DHA). This original collaboration permitted the mobilization of the White Helmets from Argentina within UN humanitarian missions in 1995. This successful partnership between UN agencies and the Government of Argentina exemplified the power of South-South Cooperation and the added value of volunteerism to humanitarian assistance and disaster relief. Volunteer action in humanitarian crises widens spaces for engagement, enhances protection and builds resilience and trust.

Today, UN Volunteers continue to support principled, effective and timely humanitarian responses. They support strategic coordination, advocate the need for humanitarian assistance, contribute to policy, information management and humanitarian financing services. UN Volunteers in the field, working at the community-level, also improve participation and engagement of communities.

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