Since 1973, the World Food Programme (WFP) has been partnering with the United Nations Volunteers (UNV) programme to deliver vital food assistance and improve food security worldwide. To date this year, 304 volunteers have been serving with WFP, largely on assignments related to technical co-operation, such as assistance for monitoring and evaluation and community development. Of these, 52 per cent are women.
UN Volunteers serving with WFP make a difference every day. They bring their expertise and experience to the table, while helping the organization work towards its goal of zero hunger.
In the Asia-Pacific region, 17 UN Volunteers have been serving with WFP this year. In Sri Lanka, six UN Volunteers are engaged in WFP's work to address food insecurity, build resilience, bolster livelihoods – especially of those affected by recurring climate shocks – and facilitate communication and research for awareness raising and behaviour change.
UN Volunteers Frans Elinder (Sweden, fully funded by SIDA) and Sohee Lee (Republic of Korea, fully funded by KOICA) team up with national UN Volunteers Usitha Rajeevan, Prabuddha Boralugoda, Sanaaree Manoratna and Sathsara Deyalage to deliver for WFP. Together, they strive to improve the lives and livelihoods of rural smallholder farmers, monitor outputs of resilience-building efforts, provide reliable and timely climate-related information to farmers and support in identifying and addressing the gaps of food security and knowledge on nutrition behaviour.
I express my thanks to UNV and our UN Volunteers for a great partnership over the years and for the enthusiasm and commitment displayed towards WFP in all our activities. The UN Volunteers at WFP have integrated themselves well into the respective teams, engaged with beneficiaries in the field with great passion and have become a part of the WFP family. --Andrea Berardo, WFP Deputy Country Director, Sri Lanka
In Timor-Leste, UN Volunteer Jieun Min (Republic of Korea, fully funded by KOICA) serves as a Social Behaviour Change Communication (SBCC) Officer with WFP.
"Alongside the food distribution, I develop materials to further improve the awareness of nutrition in the everyday lives of beneficiaries. So far, I have loved working with my team, sometimes monitoring in the fields, following up with better plans and developing strategies with my colleagues," Jieun explains.
This whole UN Volunteer experience is a great opportunity since I have met so many great people with different backgrounds from all around the world and have learned a lot from them. I am proud to be contributing to promote healthier lives among the Timorese society through my assignment. --UN Volunteer Jieun Min with WFP, Timor-Leste
In Nepal, UN Youth Volunteer Seung Jee Choe (Republic of Korea) serves as a Knowledge Management Associate with WFP. She compiles data and evidence on the population's vulnerability during the COVID-19 crisis, as part of her contribution to reducing hunger in Nepal. She also monitors the National School Meal Programme in the Nuwakot district.
On World Food Day, we recognize these UN Volunteers and other volunteers across the world, who take action for better production, nutrition and climate responsiveness, and strive to enable better lives.