UNICEF-Vietnam Representative Lotta Sylwander has emphasised the urgent need to invest in young people to help them overcome numerous challenges.

There are some 26.7 million children, youths and young adults aged from 10 to 24 years old in Vietnam, who account for one-third of the national population and are facing numerous challenges coming from economic insecurity, HIV/AIDS, climate change, mass immigration and rapid urbanisation, the UN Children’s Fund representative told reporters on February 28.

She said further investment was needed to speed up the fight against poverty and HIV/AIDS as well as to narrow the socio-economic gap and reduce gender inequality.

Children and youths should be given access to higher-quality healthcare and education, and be equipped with strong life skills to overcome challenges and fully engage in social development, she added.

The UNICEF residential representative also pledged close cooperation and strong assistance for Vietnam in materialising UN millennium goals, especially in providing best possible care and development conditions for young people.

UNICEF Goodwill Ambassador Nguyen Vu Ha Anh called on the entire community to give the youth the best of what they have to make their dream come true.

Residential Representatives from the Joint UN Programme on HIV/AIDS (UNAIDS), the UN Population Fund (UNFPA) and the International Labour Organisation (ILO) also supported recommendations for investment in children and youth. They include better information and analysis, assistance in policy making, better conditions for implementing the rights of children, more accesses to social services and the battle against poverty and inequality./.