Minister Zappone Meets with EU Ministers to Discuss the Impact of COVID-19 on the Youth Sector

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Published: 20 May 2020
From: Department of Children and Youth Affairs

The Minister for Children and Youth Affairs, Dr. Katherine Zappone, participated in a videoconference with EU Youth Ministers to discuss the impact of COVID-19 on the youth sector.

Young people are one of the groups most affected by COVID-19, particularly in terms of mobility, activities, access of young people to services and employment, overall well-being and mental health, and youth participation in decision making processes. Some of these difficulties are manageable in the short-term but as restrictions continue the impact grows. In light of these concerns, the EU Ministers for Youth met to discuss what measures can be taken to support the youth sector.

Minister Zappone commented:“I acknowledge and recognise the immense work that is being carried out throughout the youth sector towards ensuring the continuation of supports to young people at this time. I welcome the efforts that the sector are making by adopting innovative or technology based solutions to continue their work remotely.”

Minister Zappone stated that youth work is a vital service for many young people, especially those that are vulnerable, in these challenging and uncertain times. She affirmed that Ireland intends to continue funding voluntary youth organisations through this crisis period. The Minister also confirmed that vulnerable young people in our society will continue to receive the support they need by ensuring that essential outreach services and people occupied to assist in critical work are covered in the list of essential services.

Minister Zappone commented:“The continuation of targeted youth supports, to marginalised, disadvantaged and vulnerable young people are being maintained by the Department of Children and Youth Affairs, to support their safety and well-being.”

In conclusion, Minister Zappone stated:“Whilst COVID-19 has brought sorrow, distress and costs to our nation, the commitment, energy, resilience and, above all camaraderie, of young people and the youth sector has been positive and encouraging.”

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