6 July 2020
Caribbean ministries of youth have met to discuss how best to protect young people from the damaging impacts of COVID-19.
A virtual event co-hosted by the Commonwealth Secretariat, Caribbean Community and Caribbean Development Bank saw officials from 12 ministries of youth discuss challenges and solutions to delivering services during the COVID-19 crisis.
Officials cited a digital divide, budget cuts and disruptions to service delivery as the main challenges hampering them from meeting the needs of young people.
Despite challenges, they are using smart solutions to support people who are more vulnerable to the economic and educational effects of the pandemic.
These solutions include:
virtual mentorship schemes;
care packages for disabled youth; and
special loans for young business owners.
Bridging the digital divide
To bridge the digital divide, they proposed:
offering affordable internet;
providing digital devices to reach young people in rural areas;
promoting e-commerce, including freelancing; and
where resources are limited, 24-hour helplines and media services could offer health, career and educational support.