Inspiration in Action


The United Nations Volunteers (UNV) programme is the UN organization that contributes to peace and development through volunteerism worldwide.

Volunteerism is a powerful means of engaging people in tackling development challenges, and it can transform the pace and nature of development. Volunteerism benefits both society at large and the individual volunteer by strengthening trust, solidarity and reciprocity among citizens, and by purposefully creating opportunities for participation.

UNV contributes to peace and development by advocating for recognition of volunteers, working with partners to integrate volunteerism into development programming, and mobilizing an increasing number and diversity of volunteers, including experienced UN Volunteers, throughout the world. UNV embraces volunteerism as universal and inclusive, and recognizes volunteerism in its diversity as well as the values that sustain it: free will, commitment, engagement and solidarity.

Based in Bonn, Germany, UNV is active in around 130 countries every year. UNV, with Field Units in 86 countries, is represented worldwide through the offices of the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) and reports to the UNDP Executive Board.


Volunteering brings benefits to both society at large and the individual volunteer. It makes important contributions, economically as well as socially. It contributes to a more cohesive society by building trust and reciprocity among citizens.

The United Nations Volunteers (UNV) programme is the UN organization that supports sustainable human development globally through the promotion of volunteerism, including the mobilization of volunteers. It serves the causes of peace and development by enhancing opportunities for participation by all peoples. It is universal, inclusive and embraces volunteer action in all its diversity. It values free will, commitment, engagement and solidarity, which are the foundations of volunteerism.


In pursuit of peace and development in Pakistan, the United Nations Volunteers programme (UNV) was launched in Pakistan in 1971, to complement the work of the UNCT with the spirit of volunteerism. Through establishing partnerships with the Government of Pakistan and other UN agencies i.e. UNDP, UNICEF, UNAIDS, UNHCR, UN Women, WFP, UNRCO, UNODC, UNV, is striving to contribute to the development of Pakistan through contributing in several sectors. UNV Pakistan strives for perpetuating productive networks for promoting volunteerism through mobilizing international and national UN Volunteers, and put leverages engaging Pakistanis to other countries as UN Volunteers. 

Our UN Volunteers are actively involved in supporting development process in achieving UN mandate In Pakistan. They are mainly assigned substantive program areas i.e., human rights, political policy and planning, food protection, disaster management, policy support, refugee protections, governance, education and administrative functions. 

Since inception, UNV has been conducting several activities to promote volunteerism in Pakistan through multifaceted initiatives from various aspects including institutional development for sustainability i.e. establishing volunteer movement wing in the government mechanism, promotion of volunteer among the youth, flood response, disaster management, public education, policy advocacy for formulating legislation on volunteerism etc.

Currently UNV is conducting several advocacy activities as follows:

  • Joint programming: UNV Pakistan is implementing a joint project titled ‘Empowering and educating marginalized young women through volunteerism and community focused radio’ together with UN Women and UNESCO with the support of SVF (Special Voluntary Fund). UNV also recently made a joint partnership with UNIDO, UN Women, ILO, WHO and RCO for submitting a concept note to UNPRPD fund to support government of Punjab on disability activities. We are also trying to advocate with other UN agencies for more partnerships.
  • Policy formulation on volunteerism: UNV Pakistan is conducting advocacy on policy formulation on volunteerism at Punjab and Baluchistan province as Pakistan doesn’t have any legal framework on volunteerism.
  • Youth Policy: UNV is also engaged formulating youth policies for provincial governments.
  • Youth volunteering: UNV is organizing several workshops, campaigns and other advocacy activities to enhance capacity of youth groups for engaging youth volunteering efforts. It also supports to form youth groups in different community and universities.
  • Engaging grassroots organization, CSOs, NGOs and community: UNV is involving grassroots organizations on volunteering activities to integrate development efforts.
  • Promotion of Online Volunteering in Pakistan: UNV has been endeavoring to promote online volunteering in Pakistan.
  • Mobilizing UNVs for UN agencies: UNV Pakistan is mobilizing UN Volunteers for UN agencies to substantially support their activities for achieving UN mandate in Pakistan.
  • Promotion and recognition of UNVs and Partnering UN agencies for mobilizing UNVs: UNV Pakistan is also leveraging to promote recognition of the valued services of UN Volunteers in Pakistan through different activities.
  • Volunteer Management: UNV is taking up several initiatives of volunteer management in Pakistan including promotion of recognition of volunteers, skill development, building synergy and strong coordination, fun activities etc.


Recent/past projects/programmes

Project on SDGs/post-2015 agenda: UNV Pakistan conducted a campaign activity on Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and volunteerism in Punjab. The Ministry of Human Rights and Minority and Faces Pakistan were partners of this initiative.

Partnership with UNDP through Election Project: UNV mobilized 24 national youth volunteers to support Strengthening Electoral & Legislative Processes (SELP) project of UNDP.

National Volunteer Movement (NVM)
A total of 132 UN Volunteers were recruited under this project titled ‘Support to Volunteerism Initiatives’,  which lasted from 2005 to 2008, was originally budgeted at USD 5 million, of which USD 1 million was provided by UNV. The project also marked the beginning of a comprehensive UNV programme in Pakistan.  But unfortunately, since 2011, this NVM activity remains dysfunctional due to restructuring of government mechanism.

Flood response project
UNV and UNDP Pakistan initiated another project tilted “Pakistan Flood Response project” from November 2011 to April 2013. The project was undertaken in partnership with Provincial Disaster Management Authority (PDMA) Sindh. UNV fielded 3 international UN Volunteers (based in Islamabad) and 15 national UN Volunteers with Japanese funding of USD 400,000.

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UNV is administered by the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP)