Development partners visit UNDP Pakistan project providing jobs for Karachi youth

Aug 8, 2016

Photo © Asim Hafeez for UNDP 

Karachi, 8 August 2016 –  An international group of high-ranking diplomats and development officials visited UNDP Pakistan’s Youth Employment Project, which empowers young people in Karachi’s most sensitive areas. The delegates including representatives from Japan, Norway and the United States of America, visited a major denim factory, Artistic Milliners, and the Sindh Technical Education and Vocational Training Authority (TEVTA) Institute in Korangi. Through a collaboration with UNDP Pakistan, these organizations train young people based on the needs of potential employers in the textile industry and provide them with routes to employment.

The delegation also met Sindh Chief Minister Murad Ali Shah who recognized UNDP Pakistan’s long standing contribution to the development of Sindh. He pledged to continue Government of Sindh’s partnership with UNDP Pakistan particularly the Youth Empowerment Programme as well as the Monitoring Cell for the Sustainable Development Goals (SDG).

“Young people need education, employment and engagement in their communities if they are to contribute to Pakistan’s development, avoid violence and build peace,” said UNDP Pakistan Country Director, Marc-André Franche. “Through our partnership with Artistic Milliners, TEVTA and other organizations, we help build stronger, more peaceful communities where the young people can look forward to great careers in Pakistan’s largest industry, and have a real stake in the country’s future.”

The Youth Employment Project was established by UNDP, supported by USAID with US$3 million  to increase income and employment opportunities for Karachi youth.  The project aims to train 13,000 young men and women in Lyari, Korangi, Sultanabad, and other areas of Karachi over three years, and for at least 70 percent of those trained to secure full-time employment.

According to the National Human Development Report 2016 on youth, 31 percent of Pakistanis are aged 15–29 years, but there is a severe lack of youth-focussed planning and development. As a result, these young people are unable to contribute to the country’s progress or build better futures for themselves, and are vulnerable to becoming involved in violence. UNDP Pakistan aims to build stability and economic development for such youth, especially those vulnerable to recruitment into radical or violent activities in Sindh, Balochistan, and Khyber Pakhtunkhwa provinces.

The group, led by Marc-André Franche, met young beneficiaries who are now acquiring demand-driven skills in garment manufacturing. By learning more about the programme, and exploring opportunities for future collaboration that can contribute to stabilization, economic development, and youth empowerment, UNDP and its partners can formulate a sustainable and effective strategy on youth focussed development and peacebuilding.

The delegation met with Minister of Sindh TEVTA to discuss areas of mutual cooperation.

In addition to staff from UNDP Pakistan and Artistic Milliners, the delegates included Tom Jorgen Martinussen, First Secretary, Embassy of Norway; Hiroaki Kawashima, First Secretary, Embassy of Japan; Shinji Nagasawa and Yoko Watanabe, Japan; Ignacio Artaza-Zuriarrain, Country Director, UNDP Egypt; and Sarah Pervez, Economic Growth Advisor at USAID.