UNFPA partnering with UN Volunteers


Since 1973, the United Nations Populations Fund (UNFPA) has been partnering with the United Nations Volunteers (UNV) programme to mobilize trained health, gender and youth specialists within its programmes. Some 575 UN Volunteers have served with UNFPA in 90 countries from 2007-2017, supporting UNFPA’s mission of "delivering a world where every pregnancy is wanted, every childbirth is safe and every young person's potential is fulfilled".


UN Volunteers are experienced personnel available to support UNFPA’s mandate. They often serve as a strategic partner in building bridges between governments, civil society organizations, youth groups and other community-based constituencies.

Working within communities, UN Volunteers are impactful players in advancing UNFPA’s efforts to mainstream gender equality at the community level and including youth into development in the most remote, and often dangerous, regions of the world.

UN Volunteers contribute to the functioning of health centres, handling obstetric complications, creating specialized consultations, strengthening the referral system and mentoring young professionals. National UN Volunteers are crucial to the success of Husbands’ Schools, where they engage husbands as volunteers in promoting women’s health. —Monique Clesca, former UNFPA Representative, Niger

Leah Amadi (Kenya, left), UN Volunteer Midwife with UNFPA in South Sudan, explains to a student nurse the importance of monitoring birth weight. (UNV, 2012)

UN Volunteers have been at the centre of the Partners for Prevention (P4P) inter-agency programme, where their skills provided UNFPA with assistance in the design, implementation, monitoring and evaluation of localized interventions.

With the support of UNV, UNFPA mobilized local volunteers to work as peer educators in many countries, improving health care service delivery both in the context of development assistance (Haiti, Cameroon, Viet Nam) and humanitarian assistance caused by natural disasters (Bangladesh, Lao PDR, Bosnia and Herzegovina), political crisis (Za’atari Refugee Camp, Jordan), and health emergencies (Sierra Leone, Guinea, Liberia).

As trained health professionals equipped with valuable skills and knowledge, UN Volunteer Midwives and Medical Doctors contribute to UNFPA’s goal of universal access to sexual and reproductive health by enhancing the capacities of health service providers in the field and those who train them.

UN Volunteers are also well-placed to support household surveys and data analysis to use in policy development, advocacy and in monitoring progress towards development goals. Their contributions are vital and wide-ranging, advancing gender equality, life improvement and providing access to reproductive health care services. UNV and UNFPA share a commitment to reaching out to youth and bringing their voice to the table.

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