The number of people affected by humanitarian crises is unprecedented. In the past decade, over 1.5 billion people have been affected by natural disasters, and more than 65 million have been forcibly displaced – internally in their own countries or seeking shelter across borders. Worldwide, one in nine people go to bed on an empty stomach every night, and one in three suffer from some form of malnutrition.
Thousands of UN Volunteers have been supporting global, regional and national humanitarian crisis over the last 5 years, including through the provision of life-saving assistance to the affected communities after Typhoon Haiyan hit Philippines in 2013, support and logistics for the Ebola response in West Africa in 2014, damage assessment and debris removal after a devastating earthquake in Nepal,
During conflicts, natural disasters and other emergencies, sexual and reproductive health needs are easily overlooked – yet these needs are often staggering. UN Volunteers work in conflict-affected areas hand in hand with United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) staff to deploy hygiene supplies, obstetric and family planning supplies, trained personnel, and other support to vulnerable populations, and works to ensure the needs of women and young people are served through both an emergency and the reconstruction phase.
More than 2,500 UN Volunteers, half of them women, have supported the United Nations Refugee Agency (UNHCR) in delivering on its mandate in 95 countries over the past six years. The two agencies have signed a Memorandum of Understanding reaffirming this long-standing partnership.
Following the devastation of tropical storm Ida in November 2009, a unique, triangular South-South partnership was initiated with the governments of Brazil and El Salvador and the United Nations Volunteers (UNV) programme.
World Humanitarian Day was designated by the General Assembly to coincide with the anniversary of the 2003 bombing of the United Nations headquarters in Baghdad, Iraq. It is a Day to commemorate all people who have lost their lives in humanitarian service and to celebrate the spirit that inspires humanitarian work around the world. The United Nations Volunteers (UNV) programme joins the world in recognizing those who face danger and adversity in order to help others.
In the aftermath of conflicts or natural disasters, people often need assistance from the international community. The United Nations is there to help get the aid flowing and to enable recovery and rehabilitation. UN Volunteers play a key part in delivering this assistance, and often at the front line.
They were called the Game Makers. This name, which empowered and acknowledged them as the real protagonists of the games, was reserved for the 70,000 volunteers who served at the recent London 2012 Paralympic Games. It was reserved for those who (made) the games possible and included people with disabilities.