ISLAMABAD: The United Nations Development Programme’s (UNDP)  Resident Representative a.i. Ignacio Artaza and his team briefed the Prime Minister and his Special Assistant on UNDP’s Kamyab Jawan: Youth Empowerment Programme (YEP), which aims to support youth engagement and empowerment initiatives across Pakistan over a period of five years. The programme has a budget of US$ 30 million of which US$ 8 million is already committed by the Governments of Norway, Japan and United States.

“The Federal Government’s focused attention on youth is very relevant as 4 million young Pakistanis reach working age every year, yet they require support to reach their full potential; we are keen to scale up our work and support the government’s initiatives for youth development and social inclusion through innovative approaches and partnerships,” said UNDP Resident Representative a.i., Ignacio Artaza, in a call-on meeting with Prime Minister Imran Khan and his Special Assistant on Youth Affairs, Usman Dar here at the Prime Minister’s Office on Tuesday.

UNDP is providing technical and resource assistance to Prime Minister’s Office for the design and roll out of youth empowerment initiatives being led by the PM’s Special Assistant on Youth Affairs, Mr. Usman Dar.

Appreciating the Special Assistant on Youth Affairs for his leadership and thanking UNDP for its assistance, the Prime Minister stressed the need to come up with innovative and impact oriented approaches to target young people including vulnerable groups.

“This is especially important as youth comprises 64% of Pakistan’s population and reaping the demographic dividend can reshape the future of our country,” said Prime Minister Imran Khan. “Through my Office and Special Assistant, the Federal Government will play a leading role in promoting inter-provincial experience sharing and engaging with youth groups that are structurally excluded due to social, economic or cultural reasons,” he stated.

Special Assistant on Youth Affairs, Mr. Usman Dar, informed the Prime Minister of his Office’s joint efforts with UNDP to engage youth groups and stakeholders on the government’s upcoming youth initiatives, such as the first-ever Prime Minister’s National Youth Council, National Youth Conference, first-ever National Youth Development Index, and National Youth Development Programme.

“I appreciate UNDP’s technical assistance for the Government’s efforts to design the National Youth Development Programme that will serve as an umbrella platform for all of our activity streams,” said Mr. Dar. Mr. Dar has recently joined as co-chair of the UNDP Youth Empowerment Programme’s Steering Committee. “Our institutional partnership will serve to align our shared objectives for Pakistani youth’s meaningful engagement, quality education and gainful economic empowerment and employment,” he said.

The meeting was attended by senior officials from Prime Minister’s Office and UNDP.

Since 2014, UNDP has been implementing Kamyab Jawan: Youth Empowerment Programme that builds on the recommendations of the National Human Development Report on Youth (2017). It aims to promote youth empowerment and reduce young women and men’s vulnerability and exclusion through a three-pronged approach: 1) Jobs/Economic Empowerment, 2) Social Engagement, and 3) Education/Skills Development.  A country-wide programme with federal and provincial components (Balochistan, Khyber Pakhtunkhwa and Sindh), YEP aims to empower 200,000 marginalized and excluded youth (50% women) through skill building, employment and social engagement interventions. YEP partners with parliamentarians, government departments, civil society, media, universities, religious schools, technical training providers, businesses and private sector.

For additional information, please contact: Fatimah Inayet, Communications Analyst, UNDP Pakistan at fatimah.inayet@undp.org; +92 51 8355650

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