COVID’s ‘Disrupted Generation’ To Be Supported by $5m Scheme Led By WHO, UN Foundation And More
The new initiative is intended to support young people who will join a workplace changed by the COVID-19 pandemic, including the 1 billion children worldwide who have missed out on education.

As the dust began to settle in June 2009 in the aftermath of the global recession, 81 million young people found themselves out of work, as the youth unemployment rate rose to 13%.

But unemployment as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic – with 1 in 6 young people worldwide having already lost their job – is expected to far exceed that figure if there is no policy intervention. Even among those still in work, working hours (and subsequently wages) plummeted, with the Americas and Central Asia seeing an 18% and 14% drop respectively.

And for those yet to enter the workforce, 2020’s economic fallout could very likely leave a deeper scar lasting for years to come: more than 1 billion children and young people have been kept out of education this year, as schools and universities closed around the world.

It was up against this backdrop that the World Health Organisation (WHO) and the UN Foundation launched its new initiative to invest in youth-led solutions to the pandemic, in collaboration with the world’s largest youth movements.

Speaking at a press briefing on Monday, WHO director general Dr Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, confirmed the Organization would be providing US$5 million to support the Global Youth Mobilization for Generation Disrupted scheme.

“We hope that it will become a platform for supporting progress towards other health goals, including universal health coverage (UHC),” he said, adding that the youth voice is crucial in creating effective supportive policies.

In January 2021, the initiative will issue a call for proposals from youth groups to determine youth-led COVID solutions, ahead of a Global Youth Summit in April 2021.

The scheme is supported by the Big 6 Youth Organisations, consisting of: YMCA and YWCA, the World Organization of the Scout Movement, the World Association of Girl Guides and Girl Scouts, the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies, IFRC, and The Duke of Edinburgh’s International Award.

The full announcement can be read here.

Image Credits: Source: Allison Shelley/The Verbatim Agency for American Education.

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