This initiative sprang from the 21st Session of the UN-Habitat Governing Council in 2007 and has so far awarded grants to 214 projects led by young people from all over the world.
Many of the project ideas have targeted poverty alleviation, improving employment opportunities, improving the environment and increasing youth participation in decision-making. The fund promotes the poverty-reduction aims of the Millennium Development Goals, and the Habitat Agenda for better, more sustainable and equitable towns and cities throughout the developing world.
In his message for International Youth Day 2011, the UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon stated that "Far too many of the world's more than one billion young people lack the education, freedom and opportunities they deserve. Yet despite these constraints – and in some cases because of them – young people are mobilizing in growing numbers to build a better future. The international community must continue to work together to expand the horizons of opportunity for these young women and men and answer their legitimate demands for dignity, development and decent work."