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Youth can help curb climate change effects in Somalia

NAIROBI, 12 August 2008 –   Youth can help curb effects of climate change in Somalia by sharing knowledge, mobilizing communities and taking action to implement improved environmental conservation and agricultural practices, UNICEF said today on the occasion of International Youth Day.

“Somalia faces many climate related problems such as floods and droughts which in addition to the lack of peace and security in a large part of the country, have left a significant portion of the population dependant on food aid,” said UNICEF Somalia Deputy Representative, Hannan Sulieman. “With a large proportion of this population being youth, it is vital that their energies be tapped to ensure the country a better future.”

The deterioration of the natural environment is one of the principal concerns of young people world wide as it has direct implications for their well-being now and in the future. UNICEF believes that youth participation is crucial to addressing and solving challenges to curb climate change.

Environmentally-friendly use of natural resources and environmentally sustainable economic growth improve human life. While every segment of society is responsible for maintaining the environmental integrity of the community, young people have a special interest in maintaining a healthy environment because they will be the ones to inherit it.

“It is important to actively engage Somali youth like their counterparts elsewhere in the world in areas of preparedness and action to deal with effects of climate change,” said Jairus Ligoo, UNICEF Somalia Adolescent Development & Participation Specialist. 
In Somalia, the efforts of youth can be mobilized to build individual and community capacities so that the likelihood of climate change-induced disasters is reduced and that people are able to respond promptly, expeditiously and effectively to them.

However, even as the world marks International Youth Day today and advocates on the need to curb climate change, the best climate Somali’s would hope for is a quick return to peace and normalcy.

UNICEF implements an Adolescent Development & Participation Programme in Somalia that facilitates skills building and delivery of services to adolescents and promotes dialogue on youth policy issues. This is done mainly through collaboration with youth organizations in the country.

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About International Youth Day (IYD) – Today 12th August 2008, marks the International Youth Day, the day gives the world an opportunity to recognize the potential of youth, to celebrate their achievements, and plan for ways to better engage young people to successfully take action in the development of their societies. It presents a unique opportunity for all stakeholders to rally together to ensure that young people are included in decision-making at all levels.
The selection of this year’s theme is in recognition of the fact that climate change has already begun to devastate communities and deepen the effects of poverty and hunger. This situation complicates the challenges that youth face. However, young people are increasingly adding their voices to the call for action on climate change.

About UNICEF

UNICEF is on the ground in over 150 countries and territories to help children survive and thrive, from early childhood through adolescence.  The world’s largest provider of vaccines for developing countries, UNICEF supports child health and nutrition, good water and sanitation, quality basic education for all boys and girls, and the protection of children from violence, exploitation, and AIDS. UNICEF is funded entirely by the voluntary contributions of individuals, businesses, foundations and governments.

For further information contact: 

• Hannan Sulieman, Deputy Representative, UNICEF Somalia. Mobile: +254 724 255 656. Email: hsulieman@unicef.org.

• Jairus Ligoo Adolescent Development & Participation Specialist, UNICEF Somalia. Mobile: +254 724 255 658. Email: jligoo@unicef.org.

• Iman Mooroka: Communication, Mobile: +254 713 506 076. Direct line: +254 20 762 3958. Email: imooroka@unicef.org.

• Robert Kihara, Communication Officer, Mobile : +254 722 206 883. Email: rkihara@unicef.org.


 

 

 

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