The United Nations Volunteers Programme (UNV)

The United Nations Volunteers Programme (UNV) is a programme that supports peace and development throughout the world, sharing the conviction that volunteering is a powerful force that engages young people in facing the challenges of development. 
International Volunteer Day (IVD) is celebrated throughout the world on 5 December.


  • Be at least 25 years of age
  • Hold a university or higher technical diploma with professional experience of at least 5 years.
  • Be competent in one of the UNO working languages (English, French, Spanish)
  • Have specific skills and previous experience in volunteering or in employment in a developing country.
  • Inter-cultural issues are at the heart of United Nations volunteering. The volunteer must be able to work in a multicultural environment and adapt to difficult living conditions.
  • Have interpersonal and organisational skills.

What projects ?

On demand by UN agencies, governments and other partners, the UNV programme mobilises around 8000 volunteers who are engaged in development aid projects and in humanitarian and peace-keeping operations.


Administration, agriculture, communication, community development, education, engineering, health, information and communication technologies, logistics, media and social sciences.


24 months, but more and more between 6 and 12 months.


This type of volunteer service includes :

  • Allowance for settling-in costs, calculated on the duration of the assignment and paid at the beginning of the assignment ;
  • A subsistence allowance for volunteers (not a salary) paid monthly and intended to cover essential costs ;
  • Applicable moving costs paid at the beginning and end of the assignment ;
  • Life, health and permanent invalidity insurance ;
  • Annual leave ;
  • An allowance for re-settling-in costs, calculated on the duration of the assignment and paid at the end of the assignment for services rendered.

For more information on the UNV international volunteer service in a country other than your country of origin, g o to the page apply to be a UNV volunteer. To obtain information on the national UNV volunteer service in your country, contact the local office of the UNV or PNUD programme.

The online Volunteer service of the UNV makes it possible for volunteers to contribute to sustainable human development and support the activities of development organisations by the Internet. For information on the conditions for becoming an online volunteer and on how Online Volunteering (OV) in the UNV programme works, go to the site [Online volunteer service->].