The World Health Organisation announced on Monday it is teaming up with global youth groups, with some 250 million members, to create programmes to help young people deal with the disruptions caused by the COVID-19 pandemic.
The UN health agency said it was working with six global youth organisations to create The “Global Youth Mobilisation for Generation Disrupted”, with a $5 million fund to support local and national youth groups.
“WHO is honoured to join this truly exciting and powerful global movement to mobilise and empower youth worldwide to be the driving force of the recovery to COVID-19,” WHO chief Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus said in a statement.
He described the partnership as “a unique opportunity to learn from hundreds of millions of young people and be guided by their sustainable solutions to help communities build back better from the pandemic.”
The partner organisations – the YMCA, World Organization of the Scout Movement, World Association of Girl Guides and Girl Scouts, the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies, and The Duke of Edinburgh’s International Award — together count some 250 million members.
Monday’s statement pointed out that while young people have suffered far less from the direct health impacts of the Covid-19 pandemic than their elders, “they are disproportionately affected by the long-lasting consequences of the pandemic.”
“Such effects include disruptions to education, economic uncertainty, loss or lack of employment opportunities, impacts on physical and mental health, and trauma from domestic violence,” the statement pointed out.
More than one billion students worldwide who have been impacted by school closures.
In addition, “one in six young people worldwide have lost their jobs during the pandemic,” Tedros pointed out in a virtual briefing.
Monday’s statement also highlighted that “mental anxiety brought on by COVID-19 has been identified in nearly 90 per cent of young people.”
WHO said that a call for proposals for youth-led solutions to the crisis would go out early next year and that a Global Youth Summit would be held next April.
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