Pakistan is one of the youngest countries in the world. According to the Pakistan National Human Development Report, 68% of the population is under the age of 30 and around 27% is between the ages of 15 and 29. This ‘youth bulge’ provides unique opportunities for the country’s social and economic uplift whereby the latent potential of young people can be harnessed by providing openings for growth and personal development. Unfortunately, lack of youth focussed development in Pakistan has made young people vulnerable to violence and conflict, a situation exacerbated by the volatile security situation in the country.
UNDP Pakistan has responded to these developments by initiating the Youth Empowerment Programme, a multi-pronged strategy that aims at creating a facilitating environment for youth in conflict affected areas of Sindh, Khyber Pakhtunkhwa and Balochistan to emerge as agents of positive change and development.
Through the implementation of the programme, UNDP seeks to work with the Government of Pakistan as well as directly with excluded youth and other key stakeholders to ensure that ‘equal opportunities exist for all youth to participate in Pakistan’s social, political and economic development processes so that all youth feel an empowered part of society with a stage in its future’.