With the rise in humanitarian crises across the globe, the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) is gearing up to meet the rising demand for aid workers. The refugee agency is currently imparting emergency training to about 40 people at an army camp in Thies in western Senegal to prepare them for deployment in crisis-hit countries.
The 40 volunteers, who have been chosen out of 400 applicants, will be deployed for two to three months within a year on an emergency mission. In 2015, the UNHRC had deployed more than 400 aid workers in different regions across the world on humanitarian missions.
However, in light of the ongoing migrant crisis in Europe, coupled with the situation in Syria, Afghanistan and other countries, the agency is preparing to increase the number of trained aid workers. The agency is expecting to send many more aid workers to Europe, according to Reuters.
Peter Kessler, senior staff development officer of the agency said, "The migration movement in Europe is a major humanitarian concern, but we are also worried about Burundi, Mozambique and South Sudan, as well as Syria, Afghanistan and even Venezuela.
"There is virtually no continent which is untouched by conflict and displacement, which is why we bring together staff from various countries around the world for this training."
The refugee agency's emergency training, which was introduced in 1989 for aid workers, is held three to four times every year. The 10-day programme includes basic negotiation skills, mapping a site using GPS, planning a refugee camp and implementing lessons into actual situations. The training schedule also involves roleplay.
"The training is vital because you learn not only about how to work in a team, but also about yourself," Mathjis Le Rutte, deputy regional representative for West Africa for the refugee agency said.