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Challenges, Solutions to Youth Employment in the Middle East

Submitted by: International Youth Foundation

Categories: Community Development, Events

Posted: Jan 21, 2009 – 08:00 AM EST


International Youth Foundation Convenes Conference Under Patronage of Her Majesty Queen Rania Al Abdullah

AMMAN. - January 21,2009 - Seeking to address the highest youth joblessness rates in the world, the International Youth Foundation convened a meeting of experts from across the Middle East and North Africa to identify long-term solutions to the region's youth unemployment crisis. Under the patronage of Her Majesty Queen Rania Al Abdullah, the two-day meeting was an initiative of the World Bank's Global Partnership to Promote Youth Employment and Employability. IYF was joined by the MENA Child Protection Initiative of the Arab Urban Development Institute, the Jordan River Foundation, and the Jordanian Hashemite Fund for Human Development as co-hosts of the event, with Aramex as the official corporate sponsor.

"There is a growing sense of urgency to tackle this youth unemployment crisis, with one in four of our young people in this area of the world unable to find jobs or improve their prospects," said Ahmed Al-Salloum, Director General of the Arab Urban Development Institute, a network of over 400 municipalities across the Middle East and North Africa. "This regional summit offers an invaluable opportunity to move forward together on this critical concern, which is particularly acute in the region’s urban areas, and requires the actions of municipalities and local authorities to complement the efforts of national government."

"Young people under the age of 25 – representing 65% of the population in the Middle East and North Africa – are a key ingredient for the region's social and economic growth," added Bill Reese, IYF’s President and CEO; "but only if we work together to ensure they have access to the training and the opportunities they need to get decent jobs and realize a brighter future."

Experts, practitioners, and key stakeholders from the region – including representatives from Egypt, Jordan, Saudi Arabia, Palestine, Lebanon, Morocco, Syria, United Arab Emirates, Yemen, and Kuwait – shared strategies about "what works" in employability programs and discussed regional trends and challenges in the youth employment field. Workshops and panel discussions included the participation of young people from across the region. Topics included: improving school-to-work transitions and scaling up effective programs for broader impact. The Global Partnership was created in response to the 2007 World Development Report's urgent call to invest in the lives of more than a billion young people living in developing countries.

About International Youth Foundation

The International Youth Foundation (IYF) invests in the extraordinary potential of young people. Founded in 1990, IYF builds and maintains a worldwide community of businesses, governments, and civil society organizations committed to empowering youth to be healthy, productive, and engaged citizens. IYF programs are catalysts of change that help young people obtain a quality education, gain employability skills, make healthy choices, and improve their communities. To learn more visit www.iyfnet.org.

About Arab Urban Development Institute

The Arab Urban Development Institute is the technical and scientific arm of the Arab Town Organization (ATO) which has more than four hundred cities in the Arab World as its members. AUDI hosts the Middle East and North Africa Child Protection Initiative (MENA CPI) which extended its activities lately to include youth in urban areas. The board of trustees of AUDI consists of mayors of Arab cities. To learn more, please visit: www.menacpi.org and www.araburban.org

About Aramex

Built on a 26 year history of innovation, Aramex facilitates responsible global commerce by delivering customized logistics and transportation solutions around the world through sustainable business practices. Aramex today is a publicly traded company on the Dubai Financial Market (DFM: ARMX), operating a network of 7,500 professionals in 200 major cities, and leads a strong alliance network providing worldwide presence.

For more information, please contact:

James Peirce International Youth Foundation
Phone: +1-410-951-1606

For more from this organization:

International Youth Foundation


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