The United Nations Volunteers (UNV) offers global citizens an opportunity to volunteer across the three pillars of the United Nations (UN) system: development, peace and security, and human rights.

UNV actively collaborates within the UN system, as well as with Member States and civil society.

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In the context of the world's polycrisis, 2023 was the most challenging year in UNV's recent history.

Wars in Gaza, Sudan and Ukraine; political volatility across the Sahel; natural disasters; and the drawdowns of UN peacekeeping operations required extra focus on the duty of care for UN Volunteers.

Against this backdrop, UNV has nonetheless managed to provide scaled, community-level volunteer action for sustainable development as well as response during emergencies.

In addition, UNV called for digital innovation and championed disability inclusion, delivering results in 169 countries worldwide.


in 2023

number 23


UN partners
hosted UN

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Average age
of UN

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national UN Volunteers


international UN Volunteers


Countries and territories where UN Volunteers serve

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UN Volunteers came from the Global South

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UN Volunteer talking to a group of children

UN Volunteers make a difference

UNV's people-centred approach is exemplified by the resilience and solidarity of UN Volunteers in the achievement of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development (2030 Agenda). In 2023, UNV expanded volunteering opportunities for global citizens to support UN initiatives worldwide. Attention was given to meeting UN partners' context-specific needs and ensuring UN Volunteers' personal and professional development while fully integrating them into the UN system.

UN Volunteers supported 56 UN entities in 169 countries and territories. The number of nationalities represented increased to 180.

Of the total number of UN Volunteers, 11,339 or 88 per cent were from the Global South. Of these, 8,027 served as national UN Volunteers in their countries of origin, while 3,350 served as international UN Volunteers in other countries of the Global South. This demonstrated the commitment of UN partners and UNV to engaging local volunteer talent in peace and development worldwide, as well as to South-South cooperation.

Statistical overview

UNV mobilized a record-breaking number of 12,840 UN Volunteers, marking a 4 per cent increase from 2022. The increase demonstrated the indispensable role played by UN Volunteers and showed their extensive reach at the local level.

They served in diverse field-related and technical roles including

Community development

Medical service

Human rights

Information management

Humanitarian assistance

Monitoring and evaluation

Water and sanitation

and more


Based on data collected from Volunteer Reporting Applications submitted to UNV, more than one-third of UN Volunteers (36 per cent) contributed to Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) 16 - peace, justice and strong institutions - reflecting a high number of UN Volunteers in fragile contexts. This was followed by SDG 5, gender equality, at 20 per cent; and SDG 3, good health and well-being, at 19 per cent. Another 19 per cent focused on Goal 17, partnerships for the goals. As well, 14 per cent contributed to Goal 10, reduced inequalities, pointing to the breadth of UNV's efforts towards inclusion, equal representation and eliminating discrimination.

UN Volunteers, in their opinion, mostly contributed to:

SDG 16






SDG 17


The largest number of UN Volunteers served in sub-Saharan Africa (5,299). Latin America and the Caribbean had the next-largest contingent (2,762), followed by Asia and the Pacific (1,931), the Arab States region (1,649), and Europe and the Commonwealth of Independent States (1,224).

1,224 1,931 2,762 5,299 1,649 Arab States region Europe and the Commonwealth of Independent States Latin America and the Caribbean sub-Saharan Africa Asia and the Pacific

Moving towards gender parity

Sustaining strong performance under the UN System-wide Action Plan on Gender Equality and the Empowerment of Women, UNV achieved outstanding results in leadership and communication for gender equality and the empowerment of women, and the representation of men and women in its personnel.

UNV achieved gender balance in the international professional category, while men were underrepresented in the national officer and general staff categories. Exceeding the target, 73 per cent of the UNV staff came from the Global South.

The proportion of women UN Volunteers increased to 57 per cent (2 per cent growth from 2022). Notably, in 2023, 49.8 per cent of UN Volunteers on the African continent were women, whereas this was 48 per cent in 2022.

UNV's commitment to gender parity was reflected in several of its partnerships:


A joint initiative with United Nations Children's Fund (UNICEF) in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) enrolled talented young Arab women (24 to 32 years of age) across the region as UN Volunteers. UN Volunteers under this initiative in Iraq and Jordan raised awareness on sanitation and hygiene, talent acquisition and communications. In addition, UN Volunteers enrolled at the University of Jordan in Women's Studies supported the gender team with UNICEF MENA with the aim to increase the number of women experts in the job market.

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In Afghanistan, UNV and the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) encouraged gender equality and women's self-sufficiency through a project where women UN Volunteers with graduate degrees in technical and vocational training helped create opportunities for community women through education and training.

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Together with UNDP, United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) and the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) of the UN in a joint SDG project in Sri Lanka, women national UN Volunteers, served as peer educators distributing 1,000 maternity and 1,000 hygiene kits in 12 underserved low-income communities. A knowledge platform for women was created to educate community members on family planning and gender-based violence.

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In collaboration with UNFPA and UNICEF, women UN Volunteers in four states of India supported midwifery training institutes aimed at providing specialized services for maternal and newborn care. In five other states that have UNDP SDG Coordination Centres, national UN Volunteers contributed to government efforts in evidence-based decision-making and working towards the SDGs, including gender-based budgeting and collecting and analysing gender disaggregated data.

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The flagship programme, Africa Women Health Champions, with the World Health Organization (WHO) Regional Office for Africa entered into its second phase in 2023, providing essential health services to 47 African countries and contributing to gender parity for the WHO workforce. As part of this initiative, 134 women UN Volunteers served with the WHO Africa region, representing 31 nationalities and 27 professional areas of public health.

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New faces from many places

In recruiting UN Volunteers, the focus was, inter alia, on Member States, countries and territories that previously had limited or no representation. The targeted efforts led to the recruitment of UN Volunteers from Kiribati, the Marshall Islands, Palau and Tonga.

The average age of a UN Volunteer was 35, and the overall age range was from 18 to 78 years. There were 167 UN Volunteers aged 60 and above. There were 2,012 UN Youth Volunteers between 18 and 26 years of age, signifying UNV's commitment to Youth 2030: The UN Youth Strategy.


UN entities, Member States and civil society partners posted requests for 14,050 Online Volunteers.

8,474 2022 14,050 2023
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The Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) relied on the talents of 100 Online Volunteers in Niger to run social media campaigns in French and English to raise awareness regarding the rights of refugees, most of whom are from Burkina Faso, Mali and Nigeria. UNFPA marshalled 586 Online Volunteers to highlight women's reproductive rights in Guinea and Niger and another 552 in Niger to combat fake news against the backdrop of political instability. Niger was also where 125 Online Volunteers assisted WHO in raising awareness of breast cancer and 105 Online Volunteers teamed with UN Women in championing women's rights.

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Responding to the floods in Libya and the earthquake in Morocco, 95 Online Volunteers designed social media posts, mapped volunteering initiatives and managed information flows. As well, 18 Online Volunteers supported all UN entities in responding to the crisis in the State of Palestine and neighbouring countries - Egypt, Jordan and Lebanon. The assignments focused on media monitoring, need-based analyses, response mapping and translation.

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To raise awareness about the 54 Faces of Africa Campaign and the Youth Connekt Summit in Nairobi in 2023, UNDP called upon 102 Online Volunteers. Another 77 analysed development plans and budget priorities for the UNDP Ethiopia Country Office. Online Volunteers with the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) contributed to research on climate, nature and pollution, while for the Government of Zambia, they created content for the Africa Music, Art and Cultural Exhibition 2023.

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The talents of 257 Online Volunteers were applied in support of UNDP's work on youth empowerment in the Asia-Pacific region, while with UNFPA, 151 UN Volunteers supported the #EveryGirlCounts digital campaign. Additionally, 134 Online Volunteers supported Thailand's Social Development Ministry by contributing to International Volunteer Day activities and creating social media content. As well, 56 Online Volunteers assisted the United Nations Institute for Training and Research (UNITAR) in an AI-generated platform on gender equality. UNV in China and UNDP launched #HerDigitalFuture with the support of 185 Online Volunteers to highlight opportunities and potential educational pathways in science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) for teenage girls.

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In Latin America and the Caribbean, 647 Online Volunteers served with the World Food Programme (WFP) in Peru to provide information to refugees and migrants, with a primary focus on those from Venezuela. In Bolivia, another 72 served in Online Volunteering assignments that helped inform people about accessing public information.

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Emergency response in Ukraine was supported by 392 Online Volunteers who mapped, translated and provided important research to UN entities. Another 30 supported the UNDP Accelerator Lab initiative creating chatbots for public information. The Gender Equality and Women Empowerment programme was assisted by 60 Online Volunteers with UN Women in Kazakhstan, Moldova, Tajikistan and Uzbekistan, with assignments ranging from research to data management, women entrepreneurship, peace and security. A vital role was played by 17 Online Volunteers, who contributed to the Türkiye earthquake response through psychosocial support, translation and social media content.

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Where and how UN Volunteers serve

  • UNDP and UNV
  • Entities and missions of the UN Secretariat and UNV
  • UNICEF and UNV
  • UNHCR and UNV
  • WHO and UNV
  • UNFPA and UNV
  • IOM and UNV
  • UN Women and UNV
  • WFP and UNV
  • Additional UN entities and UNV
  • Joint UN action with peacekeeping and elections support
UN agencies UN Volunteers served with


3,309 served with UNDP in 2023 in 124 countries

UNDP saw the highest number of UN Volunteers - 3,309 - among all UN agencies, funds and programmes. UN Volunteers, primarily nationals of their countries of assignment, were assigned in 124 countries.

To support underprivileged communities in hard-to-reach geographical terrains in Bangladesh, 44 UN Volunteers assisted 7,500 people in accessing climate financing grants through local banking systems. In Brazil, UN Volunteers served alongside national justice councils to reduce prison overcrowding.

In Ecuador, 45 UN Volunteers from the largest indigenous confederation in the Amazon region contributed to the PROAmazonía programme, conserving 789,099 hectares of forests and water basins, including restoring 15,023 hectares of the Amazon region in the country. UN Volunteers also supported youth-led enterprises in communities across Kenya through training sessions.

The UNDP Crisis Bureau partnered with UNV to pair national talent from 10 countries with international expertise through the Global Policy Network rosters. Ten UN Volunteers were recruited in such tandem teams as information management officers and economists in Djibouti, Ecuador, Gambia, Guinea-Bissau, Haiti, Liberia, Mali, Tanzania, Ukraine and Zambia.

Entities and missions of the UN Secretariat and UNV

3,792 served with UN Secretariat in 2023 1,713 peace- keeping

There were 3,792 UN Volunteers integrated as civilian personnel into UN Secretariat entities and missions, an increase of 2 per cent compared to 2022. The majority of these were international UN Volunteers (1,713) who served in UN peacekeeping operations and were a mainstay in efforts to uphold human rights, advance access to justice, reduce violence, integrate ex-combatants into society and provide public information.

The peacekeeping missions hosting the largest numbers of UN Volunteers were the UN Mission in South Sudan (UNMISS), the UN Organization Stabilization Mission in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (MONUSCO) and the UN Multidimensional Integrated Stabilization Mission in the Central African Republic (MINUSCA). In addition, 397 UN Volunteers served in UN special political missions, mainly the UN Verification Mission in Colombia (UNVMC) and the UN Assistance Mission in Afghanistan (UNAMA). As a result of the mandate termination of the UN Multidimensional Integrated Stabilization Mission in Mali (MINUSMA), the assignments of 294 UN Volunteers have ended; of those, 50 UN Volunteers were reassigned, mostly to other peacekeeping and political missions.

UNV’s support to various entities under the UN Secretariat was not limited solely to missions. Valuable contributions were made by 402 UN Volunteers to the work of the UN Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC), 269 served with the Office of the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR), while 160 bolstered the efforts of the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA), among others. In Colombia, UN Volunteers with OHCHR integrated human rights into national police reforms, facilitating 16 regional dialogues between police and civil society and 133 agreements countrywide.


1,971 served with UNICEF in 2023 in 127 countries

The number of UN Volunteers serving UNICEF surged 25 per cent compared to 2022, to 1,971. UN Volunteers served in 127 countries.

In the Democratic Republic of the Congo, UN Volunteers acted as youth champions and launched projects for young people living in camps for internally displaced persons. In Ethiopia, UN Volunteers raised awareness of the consequences of female genital mutilation in an effort to eliminate the harmful practice for young girls. In Indonesia, they identified gaps in child immunization coverage of preventable diseases. In Mexico, UN Volunteers supported attorney offices in handling 31,875 cases of children’s rights violations as psychologists, social workers and lawyers. Helping Ukrainian refugees in Romania, UN Volunteers supported safe spaces that provided psychosocial assistance for up to 5,000 children and women daily.


1,012 served with UNHCR in 2023 in 77 countries

UNHCR hosted 1,012 UN Volunteers, a 12 per cent decrease from the previous year. They delivered on refugee protection and humanitarian operations in 77 countries, many of which were affected by war and conflict.

In Cameroon, UN Volunteers created a platform for equal access to education, reaching almost 3,000 children under UNHCR’s global strategy for refugee education. Responding to the war in Sudan, UN Volunteers in Chad improved health through water, sanitation and hygiene activities, and in planning and installing some 3,000 refugee shelters. Across 16 municipalities in Colombia, 210 UN Volunteers monitored migratory flows and provided support for migrant registration, case management and protection. UN Volunteers supported registration in the Zaatari camp for Syrian refugees in Jordan. In Bulgaria, UN Volunteers provided vulnerability assessments of 13,000 Ukrainian refugees in the country. In Tunisia, they supported the status determination for the displaced seeking international protection and lifesaving assistance.


554 served with WHO in 2023 in 85 countries

Advancing the mandate of the WHO in 85 countries, the number of UN Volunteers grew to 554, a 20 per cent increase from the previous year.

UN Volunteers with the WHO Regional Office for Africa improved health for people on the continent while expanding opportunities for African public health professionals. In Azerbaijan, they assisted with the pandemic response and tackled the health and economic effects resulting from the COVID-19 pandemic. Following Cyclone Mocha in Myanmar, UN Volunteers were first responders in 33 villages, raising awareness of hygiene and access to safe water. In Pakistan, they monitored vaccine-preventable diseases and identified bottlenecks in immunization cycles in 13 districts.


526 served with UNFPA in 2023 in 95 countries

The UNFPA worked with 526 UN Volunteers, an almost 6 per cent increase compared to 2022. UN Volunteers contributed to reproductive health programming and monitoring in 95 countries.

UN Volunteers working in Nigerian communities provided support on family planning and maternal health and assisted the survivors of sexual violence. In Rohingya refugee camps in Cox’s Bazar in Bangladesh, UN Volunteers created and conducted training on life skills education for adolescent girls. They distributed aid and evaluated the financial burdens faced by women as a response to the war in Gaza.


478 served with IOM in 2023 in 60 countries

The 478 UN Volunteers who served with the International Organization for Migration (IOM) were the backbone of crisis and recovery operations in 60 countries – a 13 per cent increase compared to 2022.

As a response to the war in Sudan and its impact on neighbouring countries, UN Volunteers in Egypt played a crucial role in helping migrants at border control points and assisted with their repatriation processes. Another group of UN Volunteers joined earthquake recovery efforts in six affected provinces of Southeastern Türkiye.

UN Women and UNV

395 served with UN Women in 2023 in 64 countries

Across 64 countries, 395 UN Volunteers served with UN Women, a slight decrease of 2 per cent compared to the previous year.

In Bolivia, UN Volunteers served women in six municipalities across La Paz and Santa Cruz to help expand business skills and encourage the creation of equal livelihood opportunities. At the same time, UN Volunteers provided access to basic human services and government-sponsored aid to refugees; their efforts ranged from collaborating on crisis response in Moldova to assisting local administration in distributing medical kits to the internally displaced in Ukraine.


384 served with WFP in 2023 in 59 countries

The WFP hosted 384 UN Volunteers, an 8 per cent increase from the previous year, marking a commitment to food security in 59 countries.

In the Sahel region, UN Volunteers increased the resilience and adaptation of communities to ecosystem degradation and supported health and nutrition in Burkina Faso, Mali and Niger. In the Dohuk governorate in Iraq, 42 UN Volunteers updated the population registry, making food distribution effective and accessible to 70 per cent of the governorate. In Mozambique, national UN Volunteers provided medical assistance, water purification and sanitation services to more than 15,000 affected people in the aftermath of Cyclone Freddy.

Additional UN entities and UNV

In addition to these UN entities, hundreds of UN Volunteers served in 49 other agencies, funds, programmes and regional commissions. Some regional initiatives included:

Under the UN Integrated Strategy for the Sahel (UNISS), 44 UN Volunteers with UNDP, UNODC and the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) supported communities to stabilize Lake Chad Basin in Chad. In Burkina Faso, Mali and Niger, they provided crisis and emergency response to the Liptako Gourma region.
The United Nations in Ecuador, through a collaboration involving UNHCR, IOM and UNV, brought to fruition the regularization of more than 150,000 migrants and refugees. Together with the government, 175 UN Youth Volunteers were mobilized to register migrant Venezuelans and refugees in 20 regions of the country.
UNEP and UNV collaborated on the Young Talent Pipeline for passionate and skilled individuals to become the environmental leaders of tomorrow and propose solutions for the triple planetary crises of climate change, nature loss, pollution and waste.

Joint UN action with peacekeeping and elections support

Under the strategic guidance of the UN General Assembly (UNGA) through the quadrennial comprehensive policy review of operational activities for the UN system, UNV contributed to peacebuilding, electoral support and working with youth – key responsibilities within the UN:

Implementing activities under the Peacebuilding Fund (PBF):

UN Volunteers helped reduce plastic waste and build resilience to climate change by including youth in the Small Island and Developing States of the Federated States of Micronesia, Kiribati, the Republic of the Marshall Islands, Nauru and Palau.

In Sri Lanka with UNDP and WHO, UN Volunteers traded ideas with 571 youth leaders on how to increase civic participation for young aspiring leaders.

Jointly with UNDP and UNFPA, UN Volunteers combated hate speech through local media outlets in Kosovo*. With UNDP and IOM, UN Community Volunteers worked to expand employment opportunities for youth in Bosnia and Herzegovina.

In Madagascar, 33 UN Volunteers supported a youth-led conflict prevention initiative by UNICEF, UNDP and UNFPA. A peer support system was created involving marginalized youth to promote the inclusion of 18 ethnic groups across the country.

In Guatemala, UN Volunteers supported the PBF Secretariat and joined Honduras and El Salvador in a tri-national project to respond to human mobility and migrant flows in Central America.

More than 100 UN Volunteers provided electoral support worldwide – among them in the Central African Republic, Guinea-Bissau, Liberia, Madagascar, Mali, Timor-Leste and Zambia. UN Volunteer assignments ranged from operational functions, such as coordination and logistics, to advisory roles, such as training and voter sensitization.

*in accordance with UN Security Council Resolution 1244 (1999)

Duty of care for UN Volunteers

The proportion of UN Volunteers who reported that their assignments led to personal and professional growth held steady at 92 per cent, compared with the annual target of 93 per cent. Also of note, 87 per cent of UN Volunteers said they were satisfied with their volunteer experience – a 1 per cent decrease compared to 2022. The perception of safety and security by UN Volunteers in highly charged crisis contexts was a major reason for the decline in volunteer satisfaction.

By expanding educational initiatives and nurturing an environment for knowledge exchange among UN Volunteers, UNV played a vital role in advancing their personal and professional growth. UNV supported UN Volunteers by increasing learning opportunities that best matched the results of a global learning needs assessment and the UN-UNDP competency framework.

Consequently, 10,647 UN Volunteers participated in 162 online and on-site learning events, and 6,800 UN Volunteers enrolled in self-paced learning activities cumulatively, representing a 72 per cent increase in participation compared to 2022. UN Volunteers gained essential core and cross-functional skills covering areas such as preventing sexual exploitation, abuse and harassment, anti-racism, diversity, equity and inclusion.

87% Satisfied with volunteering experience 92% Reported personal and professional development enhanced
UN Volunteer noting in a notebook

Expanding opportunities for UN Volunteers with disabilities

Displaying strength through inclusion

UNV champions the inclusion of persons with disabilities in the UN workforce. In 2023, 187 UN Volunteers with disabilities served with 27 UN entities and five UN missions, with a majority working in association with UNDP, UNICEF and UNFPA. While Germany, Sweden and Switzerland remained active funding partners in promoting an inclusive and responsive United Nations through volunteerism, more than 70 per cent of UNV assignments for UN Volunteers with disabilities were funded by the entities themselves.

UN Volunteers with disabilities served in 81 countries worldwide, contributing to SDGs 3, 4, 5, 10, 11 and 16. Their actions spoke volumes and demonstrated that a disability should not be seen as a barrier to having a positive impact on society.

There were 127 Online Volunteers with disabilities who served with 16 UN entities across six regions; a majority engaged with UNFPA, UNDP and UN Resident Coordinator Offices (UNRCOs). Online Volunteers mapped digital volunteering trends in the Asia-Pacific region. Similarly, in East and Southern Africa, Online Volunteers edited and translated books on autism and ethnicity. In West and Central Africa, they supported youth information campaigns. Online Volunteers in Latin America and the Caribbean transcribed audio recordings into text, and in the Arab States, they contributed to public information on sexual violence against women and girls. In Europe and the Commonwealth of Independent States, Online Volunteers supported administrative tasks for local communities.

UNV undertook an internal assessment of implementing the United Nations Disability Inclusion Strategy (UNDIS), marking the progress made in 2023. A disability-specific strategy was recommended, with potential assistance from the Special Voluntary Fund, to increase inclusion initiatives and build on best practices from the Full Funding programme. In addition, the reviewers recommended modifying internal policies to attract, recruit, retain and promote persons with disabilities and work with other UN entities to expand this model.

Diversity Mosaic: 77 Inspirations

In 2023, UNV published a book entitled Diversity Mosaic: 77 Inspirations, which contains the stories of 77 UN Volunteers with disabilities who are serving with UN entities in dozens of countries.

View here
Diversity Mosaic: 77 Inspirations book
UN Volunteer holding SDGs wheel

Integrating volunteering and strengthening policies

In 2023, UNV continued to focus on knowledge exchange and research on volunteerism, as well as the integration of volunteering in the advancement of the 2030 Agenda. There was a significant increase of 28 per cent in the number of countries that integrated volunteerism in Voluntary National Reviews in 2023, from 9 per cent compared to 2022. In addition, the UN Sustainable Development Cooperation Frameworks results and reporting, which referenced volunteers, were also on the rise at 33 per cent compared to 24 per cent in 2022. The emerging trend pointed to the recognition of volunteerism and UNV's advocacy outreach to Member States and UN entities.

During the year, 32 of 39 Voluntary National Reviews recognized the positive impact of volunteering.

In addition, volunteer initiatives, often led by civil society, focused on health care, education, climate action, disaster risk reduction and citizen participation in community sustainability. The Member States that integrated volunteering into development plans, policies and strategies included: Ireland; Chile for educational access; the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Timor-Leste and Zambia for health response; Lithuania for equal opportunities for women; Fiji, Guyana, Portugal and Saudi Arabia for climate action and disaster risk reduction; and Rwanda for child protection.

Five of the 15 published UN Sustainable Development Cooperation Frameworks during the year that integrated volunteerism into results and reporting were: Cambodia for increased civic participation and decision-making; Chad for volunteers creating job opportunities for at-risk populations; Madagascar for climate change risk mitigation measures; Papua New Guinea for crisis prevention and conflict resolution; and Senegal for monitoring of actions for better accountability of public policies.

Brokering knowledge on volunteerism

UNV's Knowledge Portal remained a primary source of volunteering data for partner institutions. In 2023, the portal consolidated a wide range of information, including laws, policies, volunteer modalities, knowledge products, and an information exchange section encompassing webinars and virtual discussions. In total, 23 diverse pieces on volunteerism were published.

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UNV produced a technical note for Member States for a step-by-step analysis of the scope and scale of volunteer contributions in the Voluntary National Reviews. Another technical note for UN entities provided practical suggestions on integrating volunteerism in the UN Sustainable Development Cooperation Frameworks.

UNV extended technical assistance to 18 UN country teams – Bahrain, Cambodia, Chad, Colombia, Democratic Republic of the Congo, Iraq, Kazakhstan, Madagascar, Malawi, Mauritania, Papua New Guinea, Philippines, Rwanda, Saudi Arabia, Senegal, Timor-Leste, Türkiye and Ukraine. This comprehensive support included evidence-based analyses to integrate volunteerism into the Common Country Analyses and the UN Sustainable Development Cooperation Frameworks.

In Chile, UNV partnered with UNRCO to implement the 2030 Agenda by training volunteers to help young people build their skills, promote peace and human rights, and strengthen justice for marginalized populations. Similarly in Senegal, UNV collaborated with UNDP to open dialogues between the government and volunteer organizations, ensuring their voices were included in the National Development Plan. In Türkiye, UNV together with UNDP and UNRCO integrated volunteerism for awareness of social assistance, eradicating poverty, reducing disaster risks and promoting volunteer culture among the elderly. In Zambia, UNV helped nurture the National Youth Policy, recognizing the importance of youth in strengthening the state-people relationship.

UN Volunteer holding SDGs wheel

Improving institutional effectiveness

Against the backdrop of a challenging year, UNV contributed to financial efficiency and business process simplification. UNV diversified its donor base, improved gender representation and employed a targeted approach to deepen its candidate base via its newly created talent acquisition team.

UNV continued to simplify business processes with a dual objective – improve the experiences of volunteers and partner entities and become even more productive in 2024–2025.

23 days 72 days to be sent on assignment nationally to be sent on assignment internationally

UNV over-achieved on its 29-day target on the deployment of national UN Volunteers. It took 23 calendar days to deploy a national UN Volunteer, while it took 72 calendar days to deploy an international UN Volunteer – a decrease from 78 calendar days in 2022. This was made possible by UNV's continued digital transformation and business process simplification, which enabled UN entities to respond to humanitarian emergencies by swiftly deploying UN Volunteers.

Satisfied with services provided by UNV
Said UNV recruitment processes were efficient and timely

UNV took stock of its partnerships with UN entities through a partner survey in which 98 per cent of the respondents expressed satisfaction with services provided by UNV, and 91 per cent reported that UNV recruitment processes were efficient and timely.

UNV financial reporting for 2023

The financial value of UNV activities totalled $311.6 million in 2023 – an increase of $24 million or 8 per cent from $287.6 million in 2022. During the year, UNV continued to strengthen its organizational agility through sustained investment in digital excellence and by effectively streamlining business processes and workflows while also containing costs. UNDP's core contributions remain a significant funding source to ensure UNV's field presence and build up its corporate performance.

  • Expenditure overview 2022-2023
  • UNV financial overview 2015-2023
  • Expenses 2022-2023
  • UNDP core contributions to UNV 2014-2023
  • Special Voluntary Fund and other resources, contributions and interest 2022-2023
Download: Financial overview 2023

UNV financial overview 2015–2023 (million USD)

350 300 250 200 150 100 50 0 2015 2016 2017 2018 2019 2020 2021 2022 2023 287.6 311.6 270.0 237.4 221.3 199.6 195.0 202.8 201.2

Full Funding programme

In 2023, contributions to the UNV Full Funding programme totalled $19.3 million. Fully funded UN Volunteers were supported by the Governments of Australia, China, Czechia, Finland, France, Germany, Iceland, Ireland, Japan, Kazakhstan, Luxembourg, Norway, the Republic of Korea, the Russian Federation, Saudi Arabia, Spain, Sweden and Switzerland, as well as the Agency for Volunteer Service, Hong Kong (SAR China).

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Iceland and Saudi Arabia joined as new funding partners to the programme in 2023. In addition to Member States, UNV collaborated with academic institutions to fully fund national volunteer assignments with partners such as King Mongkut's University of Technology Thonburi in Thailand and Mount Kenya University in Kenya.

Full Funding programme

Special Voluntary Fund

UNV continued to leverage the Special Voluntary Fund SVF to conduct volunteer research; promote volunteerism; drive innovation; foster gender parity, diversity and inclusion; as well as for emergency response. In 2023, the Special Voluntary Fund contributions reached $4.6 million with 13 donor Member States: Bangladesh, China, Czechia, France, Germany, India, Ireland, Kazakhstan, Sweden, Switzerland, Thailand, Türkiye and Spain, the latter of which joined as a new donor thanks to UNV's outreach efforts to diversify the Special Voluntary Fund's donor base.

country flags Special Voluntary Fund

UN entities hosting UN Volunteers 2023

3,309 1,971 1,012 402 526 554 395 384 478 281 2,101 160 67 27 19 26 21 19 27 15 24 30 84 109 70 65 228 269

Preparations for the 2025 State of the World’s Volunteerism Report

Preparations have begun to launch the State of the World’s Volunteerism Report in 2025. Six regional consultations and two advisory group meetings have been organized to ensure inclusive, broad-based and well-informed discussions on measurement and the creation of a volunteer index.