UN Report Calls for Strengthening of Volunteer-State Cooperation, Africa Records High Volunteer Rates

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Addis Ababa June 6/2022 /ENA/ A United Nations report on volunteerism revealed that there are relatively the highest volunteer rates in Africa and urged cooperation between volunteers and states to resolve development challenges and achieve agendas.

The fourth edition of State of the World’s Volunteerism Report: Building Equal and Inclusive Societies was launched in the presence of Women and Social Affairs Minister, Ergogie Tesfaye,  yesterday.

According to the report, Africa demonstrated the highest volunteer rates – the share of the total working-age population (15 years and over) who volunteered. While other regions displayed monthly volunteer rates of 9 to 10.6 percent, Africa far exceeded this with monthly volunteer rates of 17.5 percent. 

The report drew on case study research in Africa, Arab States, Asia and the Pacific, Europe and the Commonwealth of Independent States, and Latin America and the Caribbean.

The minister said during the launching ceremony that her government is committed to improving volunteerism  in Ethiopia.

“This report presents a new crucial evidence on how volunteer–state partnerships can help build an inclusive culture of collaboration and innovation in the delivery of public services and programs,” she added.

“I am particularly impressed that the report highlighted the relatively high volunteer rates in Africa as compared to other regions of the world.”

Ergogie pointed out that in Ethiopia 21 million volunteers have served 38 million people and that would have costed them 7 billion Birr between 2020 and 2021.

The volunteers were engaged in blood donation, tree seedlings plantation, fight against COVID-19, and other sectors such as agriculture and education.  

To strengthen the volunteer sector in the country, Ergogie stated that the government has embarked on the formulation of a National Volunteerism Policy that provides guiding principles for overall legislation, coordination, and strategic interventions for the volunteer sector in Ethiopia.

UNDP Ethiopia Deputy Resident Representative Cleophas Torori noted that “engaging and integrating volunteers will help to move forward together, allowing us to mitigate future challenges and sustain our resilience as a human collective.”  

According to him, Africa is facing some daunting challenges to achieve agenda 2030 despite many progresses and UNDP is working with African countries to mitigate the challenges through cooperation framework.

In this regard, there is a need to strengthen volunteerism and partnership with states, Torori added.

“In Ethiopia, we are currently implementing the United Nations Sustainable Development Cooperation Framework 2020–2025 that translates these global ideals into local contexts. To respond to the national priorities in Ethiopia, the UN Cooperation Framework in Ethiopia focuses on supporting and tapping into the demographic opportunity in Ethiopia, creating inclusive governance spaces, accelerating economic transformation and strengthening community resilience.”

UNV-East and Southern Africa Regional Manager, Lucy Ndungu said “this fourth report shows that the ways in which volunteers and state authorities interact, collaborate, and partner are vital for the achievement of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development and the Sustainable Development Goals.”

She added that “the findings of the report provide critical information for policy makers to ensure we ‘leave no one behind’ in our quest for development, particularly following the devastating impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic and the inequalities in the region and the world.”