UN-Habitat launches call for Urban Youth Fund applicationsNairobi, 26 February 2015- UN-Habitat on Thursday launched call for applications for the Urban Youth Fund. In its seventh year, the Fund provides 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.

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 strongly encourages applicants to ensure their projects include the following criteria:

1. A strategy to work with cities and or local authorities in order to maximize their ability at making an impact at the policy level. One of the key objectives of UN-Habitat’s youth programme is to enhance the capacity of local authorities to mainstream youth issues into their programmes and services.

2. The inclusion of the Human Rights Based Approach during projects’ implementation. The Human Rights Based Approach will be presented as a cross cutting issue toward the various UN- Habitat thematic areas in the projects’ goals. This is with the aim to empowering people to know and claim their rights. This also serves to increase the ability and accountability of individuals and institutions that are responsible for respecting, protecting and fulfilling these rights.

For more information on Human Rights Based Approach please visit the Human Rights page.UN-Habitat invites young people based in cities or towns from the developing world to apply for grants from the fund. The application is open from February 15 to April 15 2015. To apply please visit: http://www.unhabitatyouthfund.org


Globally, 85% 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 256projects led by young people from all over the world. Across the world, the Fund has empowered the youth to enact changes in their local communities and environments. In this regard, since 2013, the Indian Youth Fund, an initiative of UN-Habitat and Narotam Sekhsaria Foundation in India, has awarded twelve young groups from diverse backgrounds a chance to usher sustainable development in their local communities and environments.

With urban youth constituting more than 40% of the total urban population in India, the India Youth Fund is an exciting opportunity for the youth to really make a difference. In his message on International Model United Nations Conference Geneva, January 2014, the UN Secretary-General’s Envoy on Youth, Ahmad Alhendawi stated 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.”