Studying the effects of conflict over the human life cycle
2015 – Ongoing
Empowering young people to reach their full potential
2020 – Ongoing
The Arab region is one of the youngest worldwide, with half its population under the age of 25. Even though Arab young people are not a homogenous group, they all face similar challenges in terms of decent employment, access to quality education and health care, and civic participation. Their situation has been made worse by the COVID-19 pandemic and ongoing political instability in some countries, which limit youth development prospects in the region.
Statistics reveal that one third of active young people in the Arab region are unemployed, the highest rate of youth unemployment globally. Disparities in employment vary by gender with unemployment rates of young women greater than those of young men. The pandemic has also increased income inequalities and susceptibility to working poverty, especially in the informal employment sector.
Concerns regarding education quality persist, even in wealthy countries, and barriers to civic engagement create obstacles for social and economic development across the region.
The 2030 Agenda and related frameworks aim at leaving no one behind, including young and future generations. In this context, ESCWA helps addressing the young people’s demands by establishing policy responses that counter their marginalization and emphasize their rights.
ESCWA is leading efforts to address the vulnerability of young people, and manage the various challenges that young women and men are facing, including by fostering regional collaboration and building the capacity of member States in this area.
To this end, ESCWA has been assisting Arab countries in developing national policies and strategies targeting young people, conducting research, and organizing capacity-building workshops to highlight the obstacles that undermine youth development and raise awareness about their needs.
ESCWA monitors the situation of Arab youth, provides policy advice and promotes partnerships between Governments and youth-led civil society organizations. We prepare studies and reports and hold events on the challenges and opportunities of young people, and provide policy advice accordingly.
ESCWA is currently providing technical support to the Nama Centre in Qatar, a project to build the capacity of Qatari young people in social entrepreneurship and social development work, and establish a social incubator in Qatar.