The United Nations Volunteers (UNV) programme has signed a Memorandum of Understanding with Etihad Airways, the national airline of the United Arab Emirates. The agreement paves the way for the partners to collaborate on boosting global volunteering and sustainable development.
The agreement was signed remotely by Dr Nadia Bastaki, Vice President Medical Services, Corporate Social Responsibility, Etihad Aviation Group, and Mr Toily Kurbanov, Executive Coordinator, UNV. The collaboration between the two entities will strengthen volunteering globally and expand the reach to customers of Etihad.
UNV supports volunteering globally and in the Arab countries and aims to engage Etihad volunteers in advocacy events, increase awareness of volunteering opportunities, and accelerate the Sustainable Development Goals to leave no one behind.
In addition, Etihad will promote UNV and activities across its own channels, including the Etihad Guest loyalty programme, to encourage members to donate their Etihad Guest Miles in support of UNV.
Dr Nadia Bastaki, Vice President of Medical Services and Corporate Social Responsibility, Etihad Aviation Group, said, "Etihad is proud to be the first airline to partner with UN Volunteers, to support their talent pool and global initiatives. Etihad volunteers will have the chance to participate in the programme offering their unique skills and experience, and further extend Etihad’s humanitarian footprint across the world. Furthermore, we’re pleased to be able to offer our loyal Etihad Guest members the opportunity to make a significant contribution by donating their Etihad Guest Miles."
Toily Kurbanov, Executive Coordinator, UNV, stated, "At UNV, we are excited to have Etihad Aviation Group join our network of private sector partners who believe in the power of volunteering for the Sustainable Development Goals. I hope this partnership will help grow awareness of the inspiring actions taken by UN Volunteers around the globe. Through miles donation, Etihad Guest members will have a direct channel to back such actions."
UNV has a diverse, highly skilled talent pool of UN Volunteer candidates poised to serve the UN’s three foundational pillars: peace and security, development and human rights, and humanitarian action. In 2020, UNV mobilized 9,459 UN Volunteers in 158 countries worldwide. Among these, 1,000 UN Volunteers in 105 countries supported the COVID-19 response onsite. Also, online volunteering opportunities increased — among 1,240 online assignments, 320 were focused on COVID-19 responses. Top areas of support included programming, communications, healthcare, project coordination, administration and monitoring and evaluation.
Etihad is committed to the communities it serves and works closely with its partners to raise funds and awareness for a better world for everyone. Its corporate responsibility programme has been built on four key pillars: humanitarian aid, global education initiatives, safe and stable housing for children in need, and empowerment through development.
Since the start of the pandemic, over 3,000 Etihad Airways’ employees have volunteered to support a number of government entities and initiatives, including deployments to SEHA, Ma’an and Emirates Red Crescent. More than 800 staff volunteers have registered on the UAE Volunteers Platform, a community response to COVID-19.