United Nations Volunteers response to Haiti earthquake

News and Press Release
Originally published
15 January 2010

Bonn, Germany: The United Nations Volunteers (UNV) programme 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 13:00 GMT on 15 January 2010, there were 151 UNV volunteers fully accounted for. We are urgently seeking confirmation about the remaining 71 UNV volunteers.

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

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.

Many people have been offering support and asking to go to Haiti as volunteers. This is appreciated and UNV is taking note of these details. However, it is unlikely that there will be an immediate mobilization of new UNV volunteers in the immediate relief phase, though this may change as our response to emerging needs is established and as UNV becomes involved in recovery efforts and longer-term rebuilding. The following link provides information on UNV, emergency relief, and how to register on our roster of volunteers:


Alternatively, people can write to haiti2010@unv.org

There are 206 UNV volunteers serving with the United Nations Stabilization Mission in Haiti (MINUSTAH). A further seven are serving with the UN Development Programme, five with the World Food Programme, three with the UN Food and Agriculture Organization and one with UNICEF in Haiti.

There are 56 Haitians serving as international UNV volunteers outside of Haiti. Some of these were in Haiti on leave and 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," said Ms Pansieri. "We have had a very heart-warming response from UNV staff and 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."

The United Nations Volunteers (UNV) programme is the UN organization that promotes volunteerism to support peace and development worldwide. Volunteerism can transform the pace and nature of development and it benefits both society at large and the individual volunteer. UNV contributes to peace and development by advocating for volunteerism globally, encouraging partners to integrate volunteerism into development programming, and mobilizing volunteers.

Further information

UNV and emergency relief


UNV roster of volunteers - how to register:


UNV Online Volunteering service:


World Volunteer Web list of Volunteer Sending Organizations:


UNICEF donations:


World Food Programme donations:


Media contact

Scott McQuade, Head of Communications.

Tel. +49-1712242463. Email: scott.mcquade[at]unv.org