Sana’a, Yemen, October 22, 2009—IFC,
a member of the World Bank Group, today signed an agreement with the Yemen
Education for Employment Foundation (YEFE) to create the country’s first
professional training program targeting first-time job seekers. The program
will help increase employment opportunities for participants by improving
their business skills.
IFC will partner with YEFE to deliver
IFC’s Business Edge training products to help job seekers develop the
skills necessary to find employment. YEFE will fund the project and provide
free job placement services. IFC’s support is expected to contribute to
reducing unemployment among young adults, with a consequent long-term benefit
to Yemen’s economy.
“This training program is an important
step towards helping create employment opportunities in Yemen. Partnering
with other organizations like IFC in the future will help increase the
impact of employment-generating programs,” said Alwan Al-Shaibani, Chairman
of the Board of Trustees of YEFE.
IFC and YEFE expect to train 3000 people
over the next three years under the sponsorship of companies that have
agreed to hire 85 percent of those trained. This partnership is part of
IFC’s Business EdgeTM project in Yemen, which also seeks to
expand access to training to more rural areas and increase the participation
of women in the workforce.
“IFC is working with donors and
partners in Yemen to help create opportunities for people to escape poverty,”
said Raymond Conway, IFC’s Country Officer in Yemen. “This partnership
shows IFC’s commitment to helping combat unemployment among the younger
generation by providing Yemenis with professional training while supporting
the sustainability of Yemen’s private sector, which has a key role to
play in making a more sustainable contribution to the local economy.”
Yemen, the Middle East’s poorest country,
is seeking to build new sources of income to replace dwindling oil reserves.
The county’s private sector remains at an early stage of development,
unemployment is estimated to be as high as 40 percent, and nearly half
the population lives on less than $2 a day. The government is actively
working to address the challenges and bring about change.
To keep development moving, Britain’s
DFID has contributed to a three-year program to finance multiple country
projects, which will be implemented by IFC and FIAS in collaboration with
the Yemeni government and the private sector. This funding will assist
IFC Advisory Services efforts’ in addressing the obstacles faced by the
private sector of one of the region’s most challenging markets.
IFC’s Business Edge program has trained
more than 24,000 individuals, of which 15 percent were women, in Yemen
since 2004 and is aiming to train another 15,000 people over the next three
years. Business Edge is a business skills training product tailored to
the local market and currently offered in several regional countries through
licensed training providers. More information can be obtained from www.businessedge-me.com.
IFC, a member of the World Bank Group, creates opportunity for people to
escape poverty and improve their lives. We foster sustainable economic
growth in developing countries by supporting private sector development,
mobilizing private capital, and providing advisory and risk mitigation
services to businesses and governments. Our new investments totaled $14.5
billion in fiscal 2009, helping channel capital into developing countries
during the financial crisis. For more information, visit www.ifc.org.
YEFE was legally established in June
2008 as a not-for-profit corporation organized as a local entity under
the Yemeni Ministry of Social Affairs and Labor. As an EFE affiliate,
YEFE’s purpose is to address youth unemployment issues in Yemen. For more
information, visit www.efefoundation.org.