October 27, 2010
New Global Efforts to reduce Youth Unemployment Crisis
In 2010, global youth unemployment reached 13.0 %, the highest number on record, with an estimated 80-100 million youth worldwide that simply can't find work.
To address the rising crisis, the International Youth Foundation- IYF unveiled a global effort to mobilize 155 US million dollars in youth-focused investments designed to improve their prospects for education, employment and active citizenship. The announcement was made at IYF's Youth Leadership & Livelihoods Conference last Oct. 7th, in Washington, DC. The funds raised from these public and private sector sources will enable young people to gain skills and opportunities to gain employment, or help young entrepreneurs create their own opportunities. On the first weeks there have already been significant early pledges for the cause totaling 30 US million dollars.
Made against the backdrop of the recent UN Summit on the Millennium Development Goals , the effort aims to make a significant and lasting impact on the lives of young people aged 15-24, targeting regions suffering under the highest rates of youth unemployment, including Asia, the Middle East, Latin America and Africa. The conference brought together over 200 leaders from business, government and civil society organizations from nearly 50 countries and it featured speeches by Queen Rania Al-Abdullah of Jordan and 2008 Nobel Peace Prize Laureate and former Finnish President, Martti Ahtisaari. In a speech made by Queen Rania, she said "Poverty, ignorance and despair take a toll no young person should have to bear. We have to do more. Our future, and theirs, depends on it”. You can consult the results of the UN Summit here
For more information on the youth unemployment crisis, read the International Labour Office's 2010 report Global Employment Trends for Youth, released to coincide with the UN International Year of Youth, here (87 pages):
With increasing difficulties to find an employment, there is an increasing number of young people who see volunteering not only as a means to do something necessary and feel useful but also as an opportunity to develop their skills and gain experience for their employability.