Today marks the International Youth Day amidst an unprecedented global pandemic which is also disrupting access to life-saving essential services for adolescents and young people.
The UNFPA Representative to Lesotho Dr Marc Derveeuw says the impact of COVID 19 on young people has already been devastating. Formal and informal education and learning as well as health and social services have been disrupted, while anecdotal evidence has shown that gender based violence, particularly domestic violence has been on the increase since the advent of COVID-19.
He said despite the challenges, their vision is still to create a world where every young person can make their own choices and enjoy their rights. He said they see, more than ever before, the need for adequate measures to be taken to guarantee adolescents’ and youth’s basic rights to health, safety, choice and voice.
Derveeuw said as they commemorated International Youth Day this year under the theme, ““Youth Engagement for Global Action” they are building on the momentum from the Nairobi Summit on ICPD25 held in Kenya in November, 2019, to transform the world by achieving zero unmet need for family planning; zero preventable maternal deaths; zero gender-based violence and harmful practices and zero HIV and other transmissible diseases by 2030 and they reaffirm their commitment made to adolescents and youth during the summit to support efforts towards ensuring young people’s rights to choice and health.
More than 260 girls from various villages in Quthing district have received dignity kits from the Lesotho Red Cross Society (LRCS). The ongoing distribution of the kits is set to end on Sunday this week.