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Decent Rural Employment

FAO and IFAD together to strengthen youth employment in the Caribbean

08/09/2015

On 7 September 2015, FAO and IFAD launched in Bridgetown, Barbados, the programme Strengthening decent rural employment opportunities for young women and men in the Caribbean (FAO/FIDA-Youth Caribe). The aim of the joint programme is to tackle the growing level of youth unemployment in the Caribbean.

FAO/FIDA-Youth Caribe is built on the effective collaboration between the two UN agencies in the Caribbean and will operate for 3 years in 9 countries of the region, namely: Belize, Cuba, Dominican Republic, Grenada, Guyana and Haiti. Other Caribbean countries, including Barbados, St. Lucia and St. Vincent and the Grenadines, are also expected to benefit from the programme's regional activities.

The programme will be implemented in coordination with a number of Caribbean governments and key stakeholders with the overall objective to promote rural youth employment in the region by facilitating the development of targeted policies, partnerships and strategies, thus generating knowledge to effectively support investments in favour of youth.

To implement the programme, FAO and IFAD have joined forces, capitalizing on each agency’s comparative advantage. While IFAD will invest grant resources in the region, a highly vulnerable and indebted area, FAO will offer its technical expertise as well as its broad network of country offices - all coordinated by the Sub-regional Office - to catalyse the interest of stakeholders towards the issue of youth and decent rural employment.

Overall, the programme will take a four-pronged approach. Firstly, it will map out successful youth rural employment good practices and policies across the region. The second phase will be focused on the promotion of these strategies and good practices through learning routes, participative knowledge-sharing events and trainings.

After the awareness raising stage, small grants will be provided for rural youth organizations to set up similar income-generating initiatives across the region. Finally, the programme will advocate with local authorities to implement policies that provide the legal, financial and institutional tools needed for those initiatives to be expanded to national and regional levels. These measures are expected to lead to the creation of national youth rural employment plans and, eventually, to a regional Caribbean youth rural employment strategy.

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