The United Nations Volunteers program (UNV) includes 7,500 people from all over the world but only two of them are Israeli.
The UN's aid and development agencies board, in which Israel is a member, discussed the future of its volunteers recently and decided to call on Israelis to join the UNV, Yedioth Ahronoth reported Monday.
Israelis above the age of 25 with an academic degree and at least two years of experience in the fields of health, education and agriculture are invited to submit their applications. The contract is for two years during which the volunteer gets a monthly salary depending on his placement. Some volunteer positions can earn tens of thousands of dollars a year.
The volunteers also enjoy health insurance and in some cases can have their families join them overseas.
The UNV operates in 130 countries, mainly in the Third World: 40% of its activity centers around Africa; 26% in Asia and 15% in Eastern Europe. The program is also active in the Caribbean, Central America and South America. The UN determines the volunteers' placement.
"The fact that there are only two Israelis among thousands of volunteers warrants a change, "Israel's Ambassador to the UN Ron Prosor told Yedioth Ahronoth. "Our goal is to open the door for a huge contribution Israel can offer the world."
During the meeting, Yahav Lichner, Israel's delegate to the UN board, stressed the importance of diversity in the selection of volunteers, in a way that would reflect the international nature of the UN.
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