UK aid’s approach to youth employment in the Middle East and North Africa – new approach paper

20 Oct 2020

A forthcoming review by the Independent Commission for Aid Impact (ICAI) will examine how effectively UK aid promotes employment opportunities for young people in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region.

ICAI has published the details of its planned review in a new approach paper today. Over half of the population in the MENA region is under 24 years old and a quarter of young people in the labour force are unemployed, with the lack of female participation a particularly acute issue. ICAI’s review will assess the broad range of UK aid interventions that have the potential to address youth unemployment, including measures to increase the quality or quantity of jobs, as well as measures to improve the capacity of young people to compete for jobs.

ICAI has identified over £2.4 billion worth of UK aid programming relevant to youth employment in the MENA region – a portfolio which covers Iraq, Jordan, Lebanon, the Occupied Palestinian Territories (OPT), Syria, Turkey, Yemen, Algeria, Egypt, Libya, Morocco and Tunisia – which will be the subject of the review. Programmes range from large-scale packages of humanitarian support to refugees which include a youth employment element, to smaller and more focused interventions.

The review will include aid spent by the former Department for International Development (DFID) and Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO) – merged in September 2020 to become the Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office (FCDO) – including by the Conflict, Stability and Security Fund and CDC, the UK’s development finance institution.

As a full review, it will be scored and will make recommendations for the government.

Read the approach paper here.

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