Washington, D.C./ Jeddah, Saudi Arabia/
Cairo, Egypt, April 13, 2011—IFC, a member of the World Bank Group,
and the Islamic Development Bank released a report today that calls for
urgent action to tackle the unemployment challenges faced by Arab youth.
In a region with the world’s highest youth joblessness rate, millions
are out of work because the education they receive leaves them unprepared
for the marketplace.
The report, Education for Employment: Realizing Arab Youth Potential,
provides a roadmap and a way forward. It shows that the private sector
can be a powerful force for positive change by complementing public efforts
to ensure that the region’s youth gain the right training and skills for
the jobs being created. The solution requires a comprehensive remedy and
the involvement of a broad range of stakeholders: governments, employers,
education providers, civil society, and students.
The report outlines the views of multiple stakeholders toward education
for employment, or e4e. It identifies investment opportunities for the
private sector and practical, effective e4e models. The need for e4e is
vast—25 percent of youth in the region are unemployed, costing the region
about $50 billion each year. The region also needs better education standards,
more access to finance for students, and stronger “matchmaking” between
students and potential employers.
IFC and the Islamic Development Bank Group will work with partners to mobilize
$1.5 billion to $2 billion from the regional and international community
to be invested in e4e programs in the Arab World over the next five years.
“IFC and the Islamic Development Bank are calling on all stakeholders
to act decisively in designing appropriate e4e solutions," said Lars
Thunell, IFC Executive Vice President and CEO. "By implementing a
robust e4e initiative, the energy of the region’s young people and the
dynamism of its private sector can be brought together to build a brighter
social and economic future for all.”
“We are ready to support the region in designing e4e solutions, and we
expect and trust that other stakeholders will join us”, said Dr. Ahmed
Mohamed Ali, Islamic Development Bank President. “We must act jointly.
We must act now. The future of the region depends on it.”
About Islamic Development Bank
The Islamic Development Bank is a development organization providing Shari’ah-compatible
funding and technical assistance to the Islamic world. In line with its
overall objectives of fostering economic development and social progress,
it finances projects and programs in both public and private sectors in
member countries by investing in economic and social infrastructure, providing
technical assistance, and promoting foreign trade. The bank also assists
Muslim communities in non-member countries and undertakes research studies
in Islamic economics and banking. For more information, visit www.isdb.org.
IFC, a member of the World Bank Group, is the largest global development
institution focused on the private sector in developing countries. We create
opportunity for people to escape poverty and improve their lives. We do
so by providing financing to help businesses employ more people and supply
essential services, by mobilizing capital from others, and by delivering
advisory services to ensure sustainable development. In a time of global
economic uncertainty, our new investments climbed to a record $18 billion
in fiscal 2010. For more information, visit www.ifc.org.