The UN-Habitat Urban Youth Fund will for the sixth year in a row provide grants to projects led by young people aged 15-32 years who are piloting innovative approaches to employment, good urban governance, shelter, secure tenure and risk rehabilitation. Small development initiatives are eligible for grants up to $25,000.
The Fund aims to assist youth-led organizations in designing and implementing projects that will contribute to sustainable urbanization in the developing world. Furthermore, the Fund seeks to gain insight from successful grassroots youth projects and create greater awareness of the need for youth mainstreaming in development policies and strategies.
This year’s call for proposals will pilot an interesting new component of the Urban Youth Fund focusing on empowerment and gender equality. Increased gender equality and the empowerment of adolescent girls and young women are essential for building equitable, sustainable and prosperous cities in line with the new urban agenda. This requires the involvement of young women and men in promoting gender equality to build the urban future we want.
UN-Habitat invites young people based in cities or towns from the developing world to apply for grants from the fund. The application will open from February 15 to April 15 2014. More information and details are available at www.unhabitat.org/youthfund.
Globally, 85 per cent of the world’s young people live in developing countries, where they often comprise a large portion of their communities. An increasing number of young people around the world are growing up in cities – especially in the fast-growing cities of sub-Saharan Africa, Asia and Latin America. In many cities across the African continent, more than 70 per cent of inhabitants are under the age of 30. Yet these young people have few resources available to improve their own living environment. This is a major oversight as there are many youth-led initiatives in slums and squatter settlements in urgent need of financial support to develop their communities.
UN-Habitat embraces the belief that youth are a solution for sustainable urban development; the 21st session of the UN-Habitat Governing Council recognized this and proposed the fund with the objective to advance the achievement of the Millennium Development Goals and the Habitat Agenda.
The fund has so far awarded grants to 238 projects led by young people from all over the world.
In his message on International Model United Nations Conference Geneva, January 2014, the UN Secretary-General’s Envoy on Youth, Ahmad Alhendawi stated that that it is necessary for the Youth to be involved in economic and social development.
“This is why we need you, the youngest generation the world has ever known, to partner with us in our work; Use your power as voters and as consumers, to lead positive change and build a sustainable and equitable future for all.”