Since its inception, the United Nations Volunteers (UNV) programme has mobilized UN Volunteers for peace and solidarity. Connecting with the most vulnerable, they bring hope, even in situations of destruction and heartbreak. Over the past seven months, UN entities in the Ukraine and Eastern Europe have hosted 200 onsite UN Volunteers and 266 Online Volunteers. UNV’s contribution to the system-wide response to the war in Ukraine is growing and on point.
The war in Ukraine triggered a drastic increase in humanitarian needs, as services were disrupted, and civilians fled the fighting. The United Nations, non-governmental and refugee-led organizations, charitable funds and national volunteer centres have been working around the clock. However, the longer the war continues, the more extensive the aid, protection and health needs will become.
UNV is helping to capacitate the UN response by providing professional and talented individuals. These UN Volunteers join as experts, specialists, youth, as well as community and refugee volunteers (the latter specifically with UNHCR).
In Ukraine itself, 107 UN Volunteers were recruited within the last seven months. These are national specialists and community volunteers, helping UN entities like the International Organization for Migration (IOM), UN Office for the Coordination of Human Rights Affairs (UNOCHA), Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR), UN Development Programme (UNDP), UN Population Fund (UNFPA), UN Refugee Agency (UNHCR), UN Women, World Health Organization (WHO) and other UN entities. Of these, 14 out of 19 partners are present in Ukraine.
A team of 50 Community UN Volunteers in 19 oblasts (or regions) serve under the UNDP Inclusive Development Recovery and Peace Building portfolio. These volunteers support immediate response activities, including mobilization and distribution of humanitarian aid, logistical support and provision of essential services for internally displaced and local war-affected populations. They work closely with local authorities and local crisis response coordination centres.
Another team of national UN Volunteer specialists within the Support to Entrepreneurs and Livelihoods initiative helps local economies by boosting the capacities of local micro, small and medium enterprises (MSMEs) in Lviv and Ivano-Frankivsk oblasts.
The UN Human Rights Monitoring Mission in Ukraine (HRMMU) works closely with the UN system, national stakeholders and international organizations in the Ukraine, including the Council of Europe. Since the war started, the mission has expanded its presence across the country and beyond, opening offices in Poland and Moldova.
As of now, the mission hosts six UN Volunteers, and two of them – Wiktorija Wislowska and Anna Trushkina – are based in Poland.
I help to give a voice to victims and contribute to holding those responsible accountable for the human rights violations already committed. --Anna Trushkina, UN Volunteer Junior Human Rights Officer, UN Human Rights Monitoring Mission in Ukraine
Anna and Wiktorija’s earlier careers were connected to human rights and joining the mission gave them a chance to directly support their home country. Every day, Wiktorija and Anna gather information, including from refugees in Poland, and conduct research and analyses of human rights and international humanitarian law violations in Ukraine. They are a part of the team that monitors grave violations against children and the evacuation of persons from areas affected by hostilities.
I care about human rights and believe that upholding them is the core of humanity, especially during war time. --Wiktorija Wislowska, UN Volunteer Human Rights Officer, UN Human Rights Monitoring Mission in Ukraine
Through UNV, 266 Online Volunteers are engaged with 14 UN entities. Some have supported UNDP in creating emergency web pages, maps and chatbots. Others are volunteering online to support the joint UN Black Sea Grain Initiative, which is essential for securing the global food supply. Online volunteers are providing expertise in data analysis and visualization, public information and reporting, and translation of several languages for the Joint Coordination Centre.
The UN is grateful for the compassion and solidarity of Ukraine’s neighbours, who are taking in those seeking safety. Supporting the partners, UNV is continuing the recruitment of national and Refugee UN Volunteers in Bulgaria, Czech Republic, Hungary, Moldova, Poland, Romania and Slovakia.
For onsite UN Volunteer assignments, UNV is looking for a wide range of professional profiles, including Information Managers, Risk Communication and Digital Communications Specialists, Field Assistants, Emergency Medical Technicians, Logistic Operations Specialists, among others. Check out available assignments on the dedicated page for the war in Ukraine.
We invite you to join our national talent pool by creating an account on our UN Volunteer Management Platform. Once registered, individuals are requested to include key information, including personal data, qualifications and skills, professional experience and references, among other things. Check here for a step-by-step video guide.
UNV will contact candidates whose profiles match the specific requirements of available UN Volunteer opportunities upon application, which are updated daily and published through our dedicated webpage.
UN Volunteers are entitled to a monthly living allowance and insurance, so they can sustain a modest and secure standard of living, according to the Unified Conditions of Service, during their assignment.
UNV also offers Online Volunteer assignments to provide individuals with a platform to support UN Ukraine emergency response programmes virtually, in their spare time. You can become an Online Volunteer without the need to travel or make a full-time or long-term commitment. Refer to these pages for further information on Online Volunteering in general and UNV's Online Volunteering offer for Ukraine specifically.
Do you want to support the UN's response to the war in Ukraine? Volunteer.