7 April 2020
During a mission to South Sudan, Olga Zubritskaya-Devyatkina (far right), Chief of UNV's Volunteer Solutions Section, met with UNV colleagues and UN Volunteers serving with UNHCR. UNV, 2019

Caring for UN Volunteers serving during COVID-19

Giving clarity and certainty to UN Volunteers and their host agencies, is vital. UNV has put measures and guidelines in place to ensure duty of care for its currently serving 6,000 UN Volunteers who are deployed with over 50 UN entity partners worldwide.

Available in English, French and Spanish, the guidelines are intended for UN Volunteer management practitioners and UN Host Entities, during the COVID-19 operational response. An extension of the applicable conditions of service for UN Volunteers, they provide clarity on operational measures for effective management of national and international volunteers during the pandemic.

We are committed to updating the administrative guidelines and providing information as the situation evolves. We also support partner organizations, particularly the World Health Organization (WHO), by disseminating further information and training on COVID-19. It is important to get facts from reliable sources, and UN field missions, agencies, funds and programmes are providing new information as it becomes available.

In times of adversity, like those we are experiencing now, the strength and resilience of our committed and passionate volunteers shine. This week, a UN Volunteer mobilized with UNICEF in Wuhan, China shared her recent experience – despite the lockdown in Wuhan, Yuqing Xiong adapted to telecommuting and became a vital support and inspiration to others.

Yuqing’s experience in Wuhan embodies the values of volunteering and demonstrates whole heartedly our combined sense of purpose and desire to serve, even despite personal unpredictable and uncertain circumstances.  

I encourage all those involved in UN Volunteer management and UN host entities to regularly connect with UNV and check back for further updates. 

Let us stand side by side, while staying at a safe distance from each other.

This blog was written with the kind support of Online Volunteer Helen Maccan.

COVID-19 #HealthforAll China World Health Day
SDG 3: Good health and well-being SDG 17: Partnerships for the goals
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