UN trust fund to boost youth volunteerism

United Nations volunteers help in the election process in East Timor in 1999. Photo by: UN

The United Nations has reached a milestone in the development of its U.N. Youth Volunteers Program – the creation of a trust fund to bolster young volunteers around the world.

The new trust fund will fuel the volunteer program and help tap the world’s youth in advancing peace and international development programs. It was announced by the U.N. Development Program and U.N. Volunteers on Jan. 25, a year after U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon launched a five-year action agenda which includes the objective to create a youth volunteers program under the U.N. umbrella.

First to support the fund, the government of Germany has pledged $1.5 million to boost youth volunteerism. At least $5 million will be used for the design and implementation of the youth program, including the “youth volunteer modality” which is expected to engage thousands of young people annually starting later this year.

UNV Executive Coordinator Richard Dictus called on other donors to contribute to the trust fund as more financial muscle will be needed in expanding the Youth Volunteers Program. Currently, UNV has 87 young volunteers in 50 developing countries. That initiative is supported by several governments, including those of France, Ireland and Italy.

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    Adrienne Valdez

    Adrienne Valdez is a staff writer for Devex, covering breaking international development news for the Development Newswire. Before joining Devex, Adrienne worked as a news correspondent for a public-sector modernization publication.