Youth-led organizations working to improve to improve urban living conditions in developing countries can now seek financing for their projects through a new UN-HABITAT fund provided by Norway, the agency announced on Wednesday.
The Opportunities fund for urban youth-led Development will award between USD 5,000 and USD 25,000 to organizations led by young people, aged 15-32 years.
“In this time of worldwide economic crisis, it is not only banks and automakers who deserve financial support. We also need to encourage youth who are often best placed to solve problems in their communities,” said Mrs. Anna Tibaijuka, Executive Director of UN-HABITAT. “The Opportunities Fund is designed to provide financial support of up to one million dollars per year, to youth-led initiatives aimed at sustainable urbanization. We must harness the energies of the young if we are to overcome the problems of urban poverty.”
Of the 1 billion slum dwellers in the world today, it is estimated that more than 70% are under the age of 30 most without the resources to improve their own living environment. This is a major oversight as there are many youth-led initiatives in slums and squatter settlements that are in urgent need of financial support, UN-HABITAT said.
The fund, established with thanks to support from the Norwegian Government, provides for an initial grant USD 2 million over two years with a possibility of renewal depending on gains made.