Most UNV volunteers in Haiti accounted for, further details emerging

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Bonn, Germany: UNV is working around the clock to locate all UNV volunteers affected by the Haiti earthquake and to evacuate injured and non-essential personnel.

At the time of the disaster, a total of 222 UNV volunteers were stationed in Haiti, of which some were outside the country. As of 16.00 GMT on 14 January 2010, there were 152 UNV volunteers fully accounted for. UNV is seeking confirmation on another 55, which left 15 UNV volunteers as yet unaccounted for.

The UNV Executive Coordinator, Flavia Pansieri, noted that these figures were subject to change since, due to communications problems, it has proven very difficult to get reliable information from Haiti. "We remain hopeful that the others will be accounted for as communications improve throughout the course of today," she added.

Relatives concerned about family members on UNV assignments in Haiti or on leave in the country should call the UN hotline: +1-212-963-4139.

"Our thoughts are with the people of Haiti, and our colleagues in Haiti, who are having a devastating experience," said Ms. Pansieri, adding that she was heartened by the many expressions of support and remorse UNV had received.

There are 206 UNV volunteers serving with the United Nations Stabilization Mission in Haiti (MINUSTAH), and 16 with UNDP and partner UN agencies. Three of the UNV volunteers accounted for have already been medically evacuated, and another is known to be injured. UNV is ascertaining the details of their condition, and of any other injuries to UNV personnel.

There are also 56 Haitians serving as international UNV volunteers overseas, some of whom who were in Haiti on leave. UNV is making every effort to account for each of them and to provide all UNV volunteers with support including counselling and medical assistance if needed.

UNV is participating in the UN's central emergency response process and is in continuous contact with the UN helpline. "We are seeing the UN working as one on this and everybody is very committed," commented Flavia Pansieri.

The Executive Coordinator thanked and praised UNV personnel in Haiti. "Our UNV Support Officer is safe and is doing a wonderful job of tracking information and keeping us informed," she said. "Our Country Operations Associate with UNDP is reported safe and is helping her family."

Ms. Pansieri continued: "We have also had a very heart-warming response from UNV staff, Programme Managers, Programme Officers, and UNV volunteers around the world. As UNV volunteers in Haiti contact their families and loved ones, that information is being channelled back through the respective country offices."

UNV has received many offers of help from the public and from across UNV. These are appreciated and will be logged for possible consideration in the future.

At this moment, the UN and UNV are monitoring the situation after the earthquake. It is unlikely that there will be an immediate mobilization of UNV volunteers to support relief efforts in the short-term. However, this may change as responses to emerging needs are established.

Please follow the links for more information on UNV and emergency relief, and on how to register on our roster of volunteers.

You may also be interested in opportunities to support organizations addressing peace and development challenges via the UNV Online Volunteering service.

On World Volunteer Web, there is a list of other Volunteer Sending Organizations you can contact directly:

And you can donate money to UN Haiti appeals via the following websites: