Serving with OCHA, UN Volunteer Oladipo Akinpelumi responds to the demand for vital data to coordinate humanitarian response. He combines expertise gained from his previous work as a GIS analyst in Nigeria and his two master’s degrees: one in Geographic Information Systems, and another in International Cooperation and Humanitarian Aid.
Sachiyo Miwa served as a UN Volunteer Associate Humanitarian Affairs Officer with OCHA in the Sudan under the Human Resource Development Programme for Peacebuilding and Development.
During her assignment, Sachiyo gained critical oversight of the challenges actors face in delivering humanitarian response efforts. Sachiyo worked for the Coordination Support Section of OCHA, with a focus on assisting senior management in the preparation for Inter-Sector Coordination Group (ISCG) meetings and Humanitarian Country Team (HCT) meetings.
A public affairs specialist, Tommaso was working with the UN Regional Information Centre (UNRIC) in Brussels – after stints in The Hague and Rome – when he decided to upload his profile into the United Nations Volunteers (UNV) database. One night, while walking home with a colleague, he received an email asking if he was interested in joining OCHA’s sub-office in the North Kivu Province of the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC). "I wasn’t convinced I could make it to the end of the selection process," Tommaso shares.
"I was born in Gaza and I have always lived in the Strip," Alaa explains. "I was aware of the situation that civilians are facing here, as I have experienced it in my daily life. But through my volunteering experience with OCHA, I became acquainted with a large amount of data, statistics, and reports that have deepened my knowledge of the problems affecting the Strip: from unemployment to the shortage of electricity, water, drugs, and so on."
The Democratic Republic of the Congo is one of the most malnourished countries on earth, with over 4.6m children acutely malnourished, including 2.2m children suffering from severe acute malnutrition. The country is also facing an epidemic of sexual violence. Spiraling humanitarian needs and the rapid escalation in grave protection violations against women and children in the DRC should be of concern to everyone.
Since cross-border operations started in July 2014, aid materials sent by UN organizations arrive at UN bases in Turkey, where materials are moved from Turkish international road transports (TIRs) to Syrian TIRs.
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).
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,
Communications are a vital element of humanitarian assistance. As system-wide coordination took shape, the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) in Somalia expanded its public information campaign on drought response and strategized new ways of informing people about its operations – both to make the public aware of the UN’s efforts and to provide information on where, when and how communities could get help themselves if affected by the drought.
The United Nations Volunteers (UNV) has been supporting implementation of the United Nations Plan of Action on Disaster Risk Reduction for Resilience in South and East Asia and the Pacific since 2014.