Empower the youth to appreciate humanitarian concerns - Ms Cynthia Prah
8/18/2012 5:31:01 AM -
Cape Coast, Aug 18, GNA - Ms Cynthia Prah, the National Information Officer of the United Nations Information Center (UNIC), has said it is essential for the youth to be empowered and inspired to appreciate humanitarian challenges and crisis.
She said Ghana continues to experience humanitarian crisis from both natural and manmade disasters resulting in the influx of refugees and internally displaced persons and that it was imperative to sensitize and involve the youth in the management of such societal concerns.
Ms Prah, who said this at a youth forum held at the University of Cape Coast (UCC) to mark this year's International Youth Day (IYD) and the World Humanitarian Day (WHD), added that it was important to strengthen existing mechanisms to create meaningful partnerships with the youth.
The forum which was organized by the United Nations in collaboration with the National Disaster Management Organization (NADMO) and the School of Medical Sciences of the UCC, also undertook a health outreach programme at Egyeikrom by the final year students of UCCSMS.
The theme for this year's event of the IYD is 'Building a Better World: partnering with youth' whiles that of the WHD is 'People Helping People'.
At about 11.45 am, all the participants were made to light candles and observe a minute silence in memory of Humanitarian workers both dead and alive.
Ms Prah, who also read a message from the UN Secretary General, said today's youth, the largest the world has ever known and the vast majority of whom live in developing countries, has the unprecedented potential to advance the well-being of the entire human family.
She expressed regret that many young people including those who are highly educated suffer from low-wages, dead-end work and recorded high levels of unemployment.
She said the global economic crisis hit the youth the hardest and that many were understandably discouraged by rising inequalities, with a large numbers having no immediate prospects and are disenfranchised from the political, social and development processes in their countries.
Ms Prah said without urgent measures,' we risk creating a lost generation of squandered talent and dreams'.
She said working with and for young people was one of the top priorities of the UN and described the youth as a transformative force, creative, resourceful and enthusiastic agent of change be it in public squares or cyberspace and stressed the need to strengthen polices and investment involving young people.
Mrs Bridgette Asiama, Programme Officer of the United Nations Population FUND (UNFPA), in a solidarity message, said the new focus of her outfit was to achieve the Millennium Development Goal Five which is reducing maternal mortality and adolescent sexual and reproductive health in the country.
She said UNFPA would also ensure gender equity in the country stressing that Human Rights could only be promoted and achieved if there was gender equity and the empowerment of women.
Mrs Vera Boahene, Programme Officer of the World Food Programme (WFP), said the WFP on the average brings food assistance to 90 million people in 73 countries worldwide and that in 2012 the WFP aims at feeding 75.5 million people in 75 countries.
At the Egyeikrom community more than 200 people including children and the aged were given free basic health screening in pressure checking, weighing, wound dressing, eye screening and general medical assessment.
The screening exercise was preceded by pep-talks on malaria, cholera, Hepatitis B, teenage pregnancy and HIV/AIDS.
There were also solidarity messages from the International Organization of Migration (IOM). NADMO, UNHCR and UNESCO