The United Nations Volunteers (UNV) programme continues to demonstrate its ability to meet contemporary development and peace challenges. In 2016, UNV’s response to the refugee and migrant influx showcased this flexibility and rapid action capabilities through the deployment of hundreds of UN Volunteers who support humanitarian and development initiatives benefiting Syrian refugees and their host communities.
Responding to the refugee and migrant influx in Europe
Damascus, Syria. / Mr Kurbanov will meet with United Nations entity partners to discuss the United Nations humanitarian and development response to the crisis in Syria and its impact in the region. While in Lebanon and Jordan, Mr Kurbanov will also meet with some of the 222 UN Volunteers deployed as part of UNV’s Syria crisis response across the region (in Jordan, Iraq, Lebanon, Turkey and Egypt.)
UNV Deputy Executive Coordinator Toily Kurbanov participated in the joint Jobs Make the Difference side event at the Brussels Syria Conference. He offered valuable insight on the value of UN Volunteers and online volunteering in the reconstruction of Syria and the livelihoods of refugees in the region. The full transcript of his remarks is below.
Good governance is essential to public service delivery
By decentralizing decision making and assuring local participation, the Devolution Project, managed by the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) in partnership with the United Nations Volunteers (UNV) programme, UN Women, and Kenyan national and county government offices, promotes collaboration between local communities and national public service providers.
The impact of many SSR projects, which I had the opportunity to work on in Liberia, is very visible. One of the most special projects is one that supports the establishment of gender units in security sector institution.
Currently, there is a small percentage of women in security institutions; for example, in the Armed Forces of Liberia it is just 4%. We are in the process of developing outreach programmes in communities and radio aiming to encourage women to enrol at security institutions.
Solomon focuses on supporting UNESCO's education component of the project, implementing literacy and numeracy programmes at cattle camps within the Lakes State pastoralist communities.
"As a volunteer, I have gained experience and understanding of the diverse ways of life of communities in the pastoral communities. I am glad I am helping build their capacity and resilience."
At the United Nations stand at the summit, UNV organised an activity related to the “Youth for the SDGs” project, during which young leaders attending the summit were invited to ‘adopt’ one of the Sustainable Development Goals and to indicate a specific course of action which would contribute to its achievement.
The United Nations Volunteers (UNV) programme is a global programme and a common service to the UN system administered by the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP). As we meet there are 4,200 UN Volunteers contributing to peace and development under various UN agency programmes around the world. This includes 350 volunteers in Jordan, Lebanon, Turkey and Egypt most of whom contribute to the regional response to the Syrian crisis.
In 2015, I got the opportunity to become a UN Volunteer Child Protection Officer with UNICEF in Sudan. In a country severely affected by armed conflict, displacement and food insecurity, the humanitarian needs remain critical. In addition to an estimated 2.2 million people displaced internally, Sudan has received over a quarter of a million refugees fleeing the war in South Sudan. Approximate 70 per cent of these displaced people are children.
Later, TIRs cross into Syria as aid convoys under the supervision of the UN. The aid is then distributed by the UN's local partners in Syria. The whole operation is coordinated by the United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Assistance (OCHA).