OP-ED

UNDP YEMEN: Innovative Approach Launched to Support Youth Employment, National Stability

National Yemen

The youth winner of al-Qeeq Chanel competition

December 29, 2012 UNDP-Press release

The Government of Yemen, through its Youth Economic Empowerment Project (YEEP) – implemented with support from the UNDP and the Government of Japan – will launch the “3×6 approach” on December 30th, aiming to create sustainable employment for young disadvantaged Yemenis.

The project was named after its structure as it has three main milestones; each has two subcomponents making up the 3×6 conception. The three milestones of the approach are stabilization, ownership and sustainability. It will be implemented for the first time in Yemen in partnership with For All Foundation, a Yemeni national NGO. This approach has been tailored to be consistent with the Yemeni context targeting youth in particular. As UNDP has successfully implemented this approach in Burundi as a response to the war grievances aimed at the economic integration of the conflict-affected groups.

The 3×6 Approach includes income generation for youths through rapid employment activities. The project will assist the youth to save two thirds of the income generated, deposited into local accounts at Al-Amal Bank.

Throughout the period of temporary employment, the project will support the youth with the necessary life and business skills development. The youth beneficiary will be encouraged to start individually a micro-business or to form a group with others in joint ventures for the implementation of an economic activity. The individual’s or group’s saved capital is tripled by a loan, supported by UNDP.  UNDP thus provides projects with investment support and facilitates market expansion. A feasibility study, in cooperation with Al-Amal Bank, will be conducted to confirm that any proposed project ideas are economically viable and access to a local market is ensured.

“Yemen is witnessing a new era and the inclusion of youth in development and in economy is very essential to ensure a successful transition,” says Dr. Mohammed Saeed Al-Sadi, the Minister of Planning and International Cooperation.

The project aims at supporting the economic recovery of the country as it is part of the nation’s transition process. “Creating employment opportunities for youth is not only a matter of economic growth, it is also a question of stability,” says Caroline Lensing-Hebben, the Chief Technical Advisor of the project. Reigniting economic growth, generating employment, providing tangible improvements in livelihoods are prerequisites for a successful transition in Yemen and will contribute directly to conflict prevention.

The Ministry of Planning and International Cooperation, the Ministry of Youth and Sports, and the Capital Secretary of Sana’a are patronizing, and attending the launch, along with some 70 beneficiary youth to mark the kick start of the new-born model.

The project aspires to socially and economically empower disadvantaged youth and women in Sana’a, Taiz and Aden on technical, entrepreneurial, managerial and confidence building skills.