Your Benefits, Allowances, and Support Systems as a UN Volunteer (2023)

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Your Benefits, Allowances, and Support Systems as a UN Volunteer (16)

As part of the UNDP Project to Support Electoral Processes in Burkina Faso, UNV recruited and trained 49 national UN Volunteers and 62 UN Community Volunteers to support the 45 provinces of Burkina Faso during the combined elections in November 2020. (UNV, 2020).


3 days

Step 1 of 0

  • Benefits, Entitlements, and Support Systems
  • Your Safety and Security
  • Protection and Prevention: Duty of Care for UN Volunteers

While you volunteer for a better future, we have you covered from start to finish!

You bring motivation and commitment while serving as a volunteer with the United Nations, and UNV has your well-being and expenses covered. You will receive several types of benefits and allowances. These aren’t a salary or reward. They’re not compensation. Just enough to live safely and comfortably, from your first to your last day on assignment.

Head over to eCampus and complete the 2 online modules on Conditions of Service for UN Volunteers. It’s easy to find out what you’re entitled to depending on your volunteer category and duty station where you’re volunteering, as well as on your contract and family relationships status.

  • First, you must first understand basics of volunteering with UNV including what is expected of you during your journey as a UN Volunteer, wherever you are, when you’re on and off duty.

Your Benefits, Allowances, and Support Systems as a UN Volunteer (17)

  • Then explore the benefits and allowances supporting you throughout your UN Volunteer assignment.

Your Benefits, Allowances, and Support Systems as a UN Volunteer (18)

Watch these explainer videos for an overview of benefits and allowances you may receive during the assignment.

1. Benefits and Allowances at the start of assignment

2. Benefits and Allowances during assignment

3. Benefits and Allowances at the end-of-assignment

Your Safety and Security

Review the information below to understand your role and responsibilities, and the systems in place to ensure your safety and security during assignment:

(Video) Coffee Break with UNV Recruiters | Language Requirements for UN Volunteers

  • Before you travel
  • Upon arrival at the duty station
  • Your role and responsibilities
  • Electronic Travel Advisory (ETA)

Your safety and security is UNV’s highest priority so, before you travel:

1. Complete BSAFE – the online training course.

2. Register for UNDSS TRIP and use this to:

  • Record all your personal and work-related travel information, while on assignment.
  • Get security clearance before you travel on business or holidays.
  • Keep your contact details up to date.
  • Maintain your insurance and security coverage – there will be serious implications for both, if you don’t use TRIP.
  • See how to register for Security Clearance.

When you arrive at your duty station:

  • You’ll have a security briefing – and be told of any further security training your Host Entity has arranged for you.
  • Your UN Designated Official will be in charge – you and your family (your authorised dependents) must strictly follow all instructions while on assignment, including guidelines, security plans and advice.

Security basics when you get to your duty station:

  • Leave non-essential valuables at home – material possessions aren’t worth your life, so take only what you need on assignment.
  • Find out about potential threats, no-go areas and who’s your security warden.
  • Plan safe places and rehearse what you’d do if an aggressor confronted you – depending on the situation, you may call attention to yourself by screaming, shouting or beeping your vehicle’s horn.
  • Learn local phrases so you can signal you need help, and customs for how to dress and behave on assignment.
  • Check your contact information is up to date – your Host Entity, your profile in UVP, and UNV Field Unit (if applicable) must have your current mobile number and details.

Every day, please:

1. Carry a mobile phone or radio with the emergency contact numbers – so you and your family can be reached (or reach out) in case of emergency.

2. Be aware of your surroundings and on alert for anything unusual.

3. Follow the United Nations system security regulations, plans and procedures – methodically and with discipline.

Be prepared and alert, always. Follow UN security plans and guidelines to stay safe. Also follow instructions from UNDSS and your UN Designated Official. Report incidents. Never expose yourself or others to dangers. And more – please check you understand the Framework of Accountability.

Please download the Android app or the iPhone app, so you can get this relevant local security information:

  • Emergency contacts – for your closest UNDSS (UN Department of Safety and Security).
  • Security notifications – updates on current situations and event warnings, if your work may be affected, according to UNSMS (UN Security Management System).
  • Weekly Travel Advisory – about local threats and risks that UNDSS are aware of in your area.

The ETA app also lets UNSMS know where you are and if you need help (your status) in a crisis or emergency.

To find out more about the app and why it’s highly recommended for volunteers, browse these FAQs. Or use this how-to guide for help signing in and using the ETA app.

Protection and Prevention: Duty of Care for UN Volunteers

Your safety and wellbeing is our responsibility and all forms of misconduct are taken seriously:

Your Benefits, Allowances, and Support Systems as a UN Volunteer (19)

Your Host Entity has primary duty of care – they must protect you from harm and respond to any allegations of prohibited conduct (discrimination, harassment, abuse).

Your Benefits, Allowances, and Support Systems as a UN Volunteer (20)

UNV has secondary duty of care – you can go to your Regional Portfolio Specialist for help at your UNV Regional Office. They may work with your Host Entity to check proper policies and practises are being followed, and that your wellbeing and safety is protected. Or report directly to the country’s UNV Head Office.

Your Benefits, Allowances, and Support Systems as a UN Volunteer (21)

See infographic below so you know who and where to go, for ethics advice and help on reporting misconduct.

Your Benefits, Allowances, and Support Systems as a UN Volunteer (23)


What are the benefits of being a UN Volunteer? ›

As a UN Volunteer you receive a Volunteer Living Allowance (VLA) which covers basic needs, housing and utilities. Additionally, UNV will provide a settling-in-grant, life, health, and permanent disability insurance, return airfares and a nominal resettlement allowance.

How much is the allowance for UN Volunteers? ›

What are the new Exit Allowance amounts? The Exit Allowance consists of US $225/month for UN International Volunteers and 1 VLA/12 months for UN National Volunteers effective for all contracts as of 1 October 2021.

What are the requirements to be a UN Volunteer? ›

The minimum age to serve as an international UN Volunteer is 18 years old, however, there are specific requirements for various categories: UN Youth Volunteers, including University Volunteers, must be aged 18-26, UN Volunteer specialists must be at least 27 years old, and UN Expert Volunteers must be 35 years of age ...

How much does a UN Volunteer specialist earn? ›

$3,800. The estimated total pay for a INTERNATIONAL UN VOLUNTEER at United Nations Volunteers is $3,800 per month.

Do United Nations volunteers get paid? ›

A UN Volunteer receives a Volunteer Living Allowance (VLA) per month and is paid at the end of each month to cover housing, utilities, transportation, communications and other basic needs. The VLA can be computed by applying the Post-Adjustment Multiplier (PAM) to the VLA base rate of US$1282.

What are five personal benefits of being a volunteer? ›

Being a volunteer has lots of benefits. It can bring meaning and purpose to your life, while increasing your self-esteem and wellbeing. Volunteering can also relieve stress, and alleviate symptoms of depression. As well as having a positive impact on your community, volunteering can improve your relationships.

Does UN pay housing allowance? ›

The rental subsidy is designed to provide equity in accommodation expenses among UN staff in duty stations where rents vary considerably and to alleviate hardships of staff facing higher than average rent costs for reasonable standard accommodations.

Is UN Volunteer a full time job? ›

On-site UN Volunteers work full-time in a designated location and perform a range of tasks associated with their position.

Do UN employees get housing allowance? ›

Rental subsidy is provided to eligible staff by the Organization to facilitate settlement or relocation to a new duty station and to encourage mobility within the UN common system. The rental subsidy will cover a portion of your rent and, if applicable, a portion of a one-time broker's fee.

Do UN Volunteers pay taxes? ›

UNV shall have no liability for taxes, duties or other similar charges payable by the Individual contractor in respect of any amounts paid to the Individual contractor under this Contract, and the Individual contractor acknowledges that UNV will not issue any statements of earnings to the Individual contractor in ...

What are 10 benefits of volunteering? ›

Here are the top 10:
  • Provides you with a sense of purpose. ...
  • Provides a sense of community. ...
  • Helps you meet new friends. ...
  • Increases your social skills. ...
  • Improves self-esteem. ...
  • Teaches you valuable skills. ...
  • Provides job prospects. ...
  • Brings fun into your life.
Apr 3, 2020

How long can you be a UN Volunteer? ›

Maximum time limit to serve as an international UN Volunteer is set at four years, and is enforced separately for each UN Volunteer category. For example, you may serve as a UN Youth Volunteer and still serve a maximum of four years as an international UN Volunteer.

Is working at the UN worth it? ›

It has access and resources no other organization does. Even if you don't spend your entire career working at the UN, there are many opportunities available there, including travel, good pay, good job benefits, and projects that make a real difference in the world.

Do UN Volunteers get accommodation? ›

UN Volunteers paying rent of more than 33% of their Monthly Living Allowance (considering Family Allowance for dependents residing at the duty station), may be eligible for up to 20% increase in their Monthly Living Allowance towards their accommodation.

How hard is it to get a job at the UN? ›

It is generally hard to get a job at the UN. The main reasons UN jobs are difficult to get include language requirements, high competition, specific needs for skills and experience, high-level education, the often-complex UN recruitment process and that the UN wants to recruit a diversely as possible.

Does UN pay for vacation? ›

Depending on your contract type, you will be entitled to 18 to 30 days of vacation per year. In addition, the United Nations also observes 10 paid holidays per year; these differ from duty station to duty station.

What is a paid volunteer called? ›

Paid volunteers, also called compensated volunteers, are individuals who volunteer to work for an organization without getting paid but still receive some form of compensation or reimbursement.

How much are United Nations workers paid? ›

Average annual salary in United Nations is INR 16.4 lakhs . Salary estimates are based on 135 United Nations latest salaries received from various employees of United Nations.

What are some of the benefits of volunteers to an organization? ›

Volunteering can improve the life satisfaction of volunteers and may improve their health. Research suggests that volunteers gain a range of business-relevant skills and can improve their work-related outcomes. More and more workplaces are encouraging their employees to volunteer.

What are four other benefits of volunteering? ›

It's clear the benefits of volunteering are huge – improved physical and mental health, new friends and avoiding loneliness, a sense of purpose and deeper self-confidence. In turn, all of these things will help to boost your overall happiness: a win-win situation for all involved.

Why is volunteering important these 7 great reasons show the benefits? ›

Meet new people and develop lasting relationships. Increase your happiness and better your mental health. Learn new skills and increase your brain function and self-esteem. Stand out on job applications and further your career.

Are all UN jobs tax free? ›

Under the United Nations Privileges and Immunities Act, 1947, any salary or emoluments received by officials of UN are exempt from tax.

What is un dependency allowance? ›


A dependency allowance is payable in respect of only one secondary dependent. A secondary dependent can be a father, mother, brother or sister to whom the staff member provides half or more required financial support annually and at least twice the amount of the dependency allowance.

Who gets basic housing allowance? ›

Who is eligible for BAH? A member assigned to permanent duty within the 50 United States, who is not furnished government housing, is eligible for a Basic Allowance for Housing (BAH), based on the member's rank, dependency status, and permanent duty station ZIP Code.

How long does it take to get a job at the UN? ›

While some organisations and agencies fill positions quickly, others move slowly; this often depends on the size if the organisation and the urgency to fill a role. The end to end process of applying to securing a job with the United Nations system can take up to 4 months or even longer!

How long is UN hiring? ›

After you attach your P-11 form you press the button to send/submit an application. What's next? The full selection process in UN agencies takes from 2 weeks to 4 months.

Do we get certificate for UN Volunteer? ›

Through the UNV Coursera Programme, you will be able to obtain many of these university certificates for free! By registering for Coursera you commit to actively participating in course activities as well as completing online assessments on time.

What benefits does the UN provide? ›

The United Nations promotes and strengthens democratic institutions and practices around the world, including by helping people in many countries to participate in free and fair elections. The UN has provided electoral assistance to more than 100 countries, often at decisive moments in their history.

Is income from UN is tax free? ›

The United Nations (Privileges and Immunities) Act, 1947, provides exemption from income-tax on the salaries and emoluments paid by the United Nations to its officials.

How much is housing allowance for public servants? ›

The average CPI for the period 1 April 2021 to 31 March 2022 is 5.22% as determined by Statistics South Africa. 3.2 The housing allowance, for home-owners, is increased from R1 500.07 to R1 578.37 per month effective from 1 July 2022 as per PSCBC Resolution 7 of 2015, clause 4.6.

Do volunteers get expenses? ›

You should reimburse any reasonable expenses incurred while volunteering. This includes, but is not limited to: travel (including to and from the place of volunteering) meals and refreshments.

Why volunteers should not be paid? ›

Paying volunteers money or anything of value that can reasonably be construed to be in exchange for their work is confusing and potentially dangerous to your nonprofit, and even to the volunteers you're trying to reward.

Are volunteers always unpaid? ›

Both internships and volunteer work can be unpaid. But the main difference between them comes down to motivation. Altruism, or the desire to do public service or support religious or humanitarian efforts, often drives people to volunteer. Among volunteers, there is no expectation for compensation.

What are 3 reasons why you should volunteer? ›

Community Service: Top 10 Reasons to Volunteer
  • 10: It's good for you. ...
  • 9: It saves resources. ...
  • 8: Volunteers gain professional experience. ...
  • 7: It brings people together. ...
  • 6: It promotes personal growth and self esteem. ...
  • 5: Volunteering strengthens your community. ...
  • 4: You learn a lot. ...
  • 3: You get a chance to give back.

What are 3 volunteer examples? ›

Volunteer For Things in Your Community:
  • Volunteer at your local library.
  • Volunteer to chaperone a field trip.
  • Volunteer with a local nonprofit.
  • Volunteer at an animal shelter.
  • Volunteer at a community center.
  • Volunteer as a lifeguard.
  • Volunteer to be a crossing guard.
  • Volunteer to do social media for a local org.
Mar 15, 2022

What are core values of volunteers? ›

Upholding our Core Values and honoring our legacy of mercy and compassion, we offer hope to individuals and communities.
  • respect & trust. We believe in inherent positive intent, individual dignity, and the power of teamwork accomplished. ...
  • integrity. ...
  • ministry of service. ...
  • creativity & innovation.

Do UN workers travel a lot? ›

Many UN workers get to travel to many different countries throughout their career and this can definitely be one of the reasons the UN is a good place to work. UN staff can also travel to countries or areas experiencing disasters or conflicts.

Can you get a UN job without a degree? ›

What education do I need? Normally, it is required that you have an advanced university degree for the professional and director level positions. It is, however, frequently accepted that if you have a first-level university degree, combined with qualifying work experience, you meet the educational requirements.

How long is a UN contract? ›

Career staff member, contracted under the UN Staff Regulations and Rules. A fixed-term appointment may be granted for a period of one year or more, up to five years at a time ; A continuing appointment is an open-ended appointment.

What is the dress code for UN staff? ›

Dress Code

Professional business attire is a business jacket, dress shirt, tie, slacks/skirt/dress, and dress shoes. Professional dress expectations require that dresses and skirts be knee length. Delegates should be dressed in professional business attire that reflects their self-identified gender.

What are the pros and cons of working with UN? ›

Try not to work at a Permanent Mission

Cons are: low pay, bad work-life balance (no respect for hours on contract), zero benefits (not even health insurance), disorganized management, and lots of bureaucracy. Pros: international working environment, bilingual work, exposure to the UN and its work.

What are the disadvantages of the UN? ›

  • 4.1 Inability to prevent conflicts.
  • 4.2 Handling of the Cold War.
  • 4.3 Attention given to the Arab-Israeli conflict.
  • 4.4 Allegations of anti-Zionism and antisemitism.
  • 4.5 Alleged support for Palestinian militancy.
  • 4.6 UN admits Sri Lanka civil war failure.
  • 4.7 Recognition of Taiwan.

How much does an UN Volunteer get paid a month? ›

As of Feb 3, 2023, the average annual pay for an Un Volunteer in the United States is $37,296 a year. Just in case you need a simple salary calculator, that works out to be approximately $17.93 an hour. This is the equivalent of $717/week or $3,108/month.

Is volunteering in the UN good? ›

The UNV program is very well-respected by international volunteers not only because the UN oversees it, but also because volunteers play a key role in realizing the organization's mission.

How do I pass the UN interview? ›

Listen to the question carefully. Keep to the point. Be as specific as possible.
Competency interviewing questions can look like this:
  1. Tell us about a situation when you went above and beyond your manager's expectations.
  2. Give an example of a time when you used your problem solving abilities to resolve an issue?

What is the best way to get a job at the UN? ›

How can I get a job at the UN? To get a job at the UN, you need to meet the experience requirements which are a minimum of a master's degree in a relevant field, two to 15 years of experience, depending on the role, and multiple language proficiencies.

What should I study for UN job? ›

Some of the best degrees for humanitarian work are master's degrees in sustainability programs, like an MBA in Sustainability, a Master of Science in Climate Science and Policy or Environmental Policy, or a Master of Education in Environmental Education.

What are the benefits of UN permanent members? ›

The permanent members were all Allies in World War II (and the victors of that war), and are all states with nuclear weapons. All have the power of veto which enables any one of them to prevent the adoption of any "substantive" draft Council resolution, regardless of its level of international support.

How much does a G4 at United Nations make? ›

$48,749. The estimated total pay for a Administrative Assistant (G4) at United Nations is $48,749 per year. This number represents the median, which is the midpoint of the ranges from our proprietary Total Pay Estimate model and based on salaries collected from our users. The estimated base pay is $48,749 per year.

Is it hard to get a job with UN? ›

It is generally considered hard to get a job at the UN for several main reasons: language skills requirements, high competition, specific experience, and a rigorous selection process.


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