About us

United Nations Volunteers (UNV)

Small UNV Group PhotoUN Volunteers in Lao PDR

UNV is the UN organisation 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 embraces volunteerism as universal and inclusive, and recognises volunteerism in its diversity as well as the values that sustain it: free will, commitment, engagement and solidarity. More information can be found on the UNV global programme.

United Nations Volunteers in Lao PDR

Consultation on Volunteer National Review with youth groups in Savannakhet

UN Volunteers in Lao PDR was established in 1983, and works in collaboration with other UN agencies, the Lao government, volunteer organisations, academia and the media to meet the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) as well as the, the UN’s development strategy for Lao PDR. More than 1000 volunteers have served in Lao PDR, and around 30 UN volunteers serve annually in different UN agencies, project offices and Lao government ministries.

UNV encompasses three pillars: advocacy, programming and volunteer mobilization. The UNV Field Unit actively advocates for the role of volunteerism in development, in the form of publications, research, forums and events such as the International Volunteer Day, the Informal Volunteer Network and blood donation campaigns.

In terms of mobilization, UNV recruits a great diversity of talents covering more than 30 professional categories and offers a variety of volunteer opportunities.

How Volunteer Action Counts

The total contribution of UN Volunteers to the United Nations Development Assistance Framework (UNDAF) through the mobilisation of UN Volunteers is USD 1,600,000. This includes volunteers funded by both UN host agencies and UN Volunteers.International funding for UN Volunteers in Lao PDR amounts to US$318,000. UN Volunteers has several partnerships with donors supporting the mobilization of UN Volunteers in Lao PDR such as the Korea International Cooperation Agency and the Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation.

The total contribution of UNV to the UNDAF 2012 – 2015 in Lao PDR through the mobilization of UN Volunteers currently amounts to USD $2,516,286. This includes around 50 volunteers funded by both UN host agencies and UN Volunteers.


UN Volunteer Profile

Jul 20, 2018

Silvia visiting the southern provinces of Laos with polio campaign

We had a wonderful conversation with Silvia on her volunteer experiences in Laos:

“I serve as a UN Volunteer in Laos focusing on public health issues, which I have always felt passionate about. I work towards ending three diseases that can have fatal outcomes for the people of Laos. Malaria and tuberculosis pose a big challenge to Laos, especially for poor people living in remote areas. HIV cases are increasing, with the majority of people living with HIV not understanding the risks of belated treatment.

As a Health Advocacy and Coordination Officer, I help to oversee the implementation of the grants provided by the Global Fund to Laos. My task is to coordinate contributions from various organizations, including the government, the private sector, international organizations, civil society and communities living with the diseases to ensure that everyone’s views are heard and that we work together to ensure a healthy life for all citizens of Lao PDR.

It’s not as all altruistic, however. I get immense joy out of my work, the most rewarding part being encounters with local people and visits to the provinces most affected by these three diseases.”

Silvia Illescas is an International UN Volunteer from Nicaragua, working as a Health Advocacy and Coordination Officer at WHO in Lao PDR.

Contact us

Mr. Alberto Cuomo
UN Volunteers Programme Officer

Tel: +856 (0)21 267 757
Email: alberto.cuomo@unv.org

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Fast Facts

Countries of origin for UN Volunteers to Lao PDR in 2015 to 2017

Countries of Origin for United Nations Volunteers in Lao PDR 2015-17

UN Volunteers around the world:

  • 6,590 UN Volunteers served with 30 UN entity partners in 2016/17.
  • 45% of those volunteers were women.
  • UN Volunteers came from 156 countries of orgin and went to 126 countries of assignment.

Getting our Lao community involved in Volunteerism


The UN Volunteer Programme in Lao PDR participated in the the 8th Vientiane Education and Career Fair for two days, from 7-8th July at Don Chan Palace in Vientiane.The UNV office engaged more than 600 people in the promotion of the UN Volunteers programme, NUNV modality, as well as understanding how young population views the work of volunteerism. Ranging from fresh graduates to retired people, visitors from all walks of life expressed their willingness to register for our programme. We would love to work hand-in-hand with our communities in mobilising sustainable world development. The UNV is looking forward to seeing more of your support in our future projects!

UNDP Around the world

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