Youth organizations, WHO and UN Foundation launch global mobilization addressing impacts of COVID-19 on young people

Dec. 16, 2020

A new ground-breaking global youth mobilization by an alliance of the world’s largest youth movements and organizations together with the World Health Organization (WHO) and the United Nations Foundation, was launched to invest in and scale up youth-led solutions and engagements in response to COVID-19, reported the WHO.

The “Global Youth Mobilization for Generation Disrupted” is being led by the Big 6 Youth Organizations [Young Men’s Christian Association (YMCA); World Young Women’s Christian Association (YWCA); World Organization of the Scout Movement; World Association of Girl Guides and Girl Scouts; International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies (IFRC); and The Duke of Edinburgh’s International Award), which together actively involve more than 250 million young people, and aims to support young people to engage in and design efforts to turn around the impact of the pandemic.

The Global Youth Mobilization will feature the convening of a Global Youth Summit in April 2021, and a fund of US $5 million to support local and national youth organizations, including grants for youth-led solutions and an accelerator program to scale up existing response efforts.

The leadership of the WHO, Big 6 and youth organizations around the world are calling on governments, businesses and policy makers to back the Global Youth Mobilization effort and commit to investing in the future of young people. These measures will directly support young people engaged at the grassroots level to tackle some of the most pressing health and societal challenges resulting from the pandemic.

While the direct health impacts of the pandemic on young people have been generally less severe, 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. For example, mental anxiety brought on by COVID-19 has been identified in nearly 90 percent of young people; more than one billion students in almost every country have been impacted by school closures; and one in six young people worldwide have lost their jobs during the pandemic.

At the same time, young people are also driving change and implementing solutions in response to COVID-19 by taking action through community-based interventions and voluntary service, such as acting as first responders and delivering food and supplies to those in need. The Global Youth Mobilization will draw attention to the urgent need for solutions to support young people, and to highlight the critical leadership role young people are playing in their communities to counter the effects of the pandemic.

Supported by the COVID-19 Solidarity Response Fund for WHO and powered by the United Nations Foundation, the Global Youth Mobilization features a strategic partnership with the WHO and its newly launched Youth Council. It will involve other United Nations agencies, as well as a number of high-profile global partners, brands, and advocates, from FIFA to YOUNGA by BridgingTheGap Ventures, and the creation of a youth council of social media influencers, including the Influential platform. The initiative, developed in consultation with young people from across the globe, will be youth-led, community-driven, evidence-based, and inclusive of diverse communities rooted in meaningful youth participation and engagement.

WHO has the release.

More COVID-19 coverage HERE.