Alleviating Youth Poverty

Poverty hits young people particularly hard: an estimated 515 million young aged 15 to 24 people live on less than two dollars a day – that is, nearly 45 per cent of all youth. This is a wake-up call for the international community to do more to meet its commitment to building a world of inclusion, justice, mutual trust and prosperity. In particular, we must work harder to improve the younger generation’s social and economic opportunities.

UNESCO has made considerable efforts to address the urgent needs of young people living in poverty. It has designated the eradication of poverty, in particular extreme poverty, as a cross-cutting theme for the whole Organization, and has at the same time ensured that the needs of youth and young people are mainstreamed by all Programme Sectors. UNESCO has also launched innovative intersectoral pilot projects in all regions of the world, aimed at targeting the needs of young people and strengthening youth leadership. As we move closer to 2015, the target date set for many of the MDGs, it is imperative for UNESCO – as for the international community at large – to work in a more focused and effective manner to meet the challenge of eradicating poverty among youth.

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