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The United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) will partner with the Planning Institute of Jamaica (PIOJ), Scientific Research Council (SRC), the Ministry of Agriculture (MOA) and the Ministry of National Security (MNS) to implement a project; “Youth Employment Through Sustainable Livelihoods” in February 2010.
The project is one aspect of the Government of Jamaica’s efforts to sustain the country’s progress in reducing poverty. It is estimated to run at a total cost of US $ 1, 250,000 with the major funding parties being the UNDP and the United States Agency for International Development (USAID). The Project aims to reduce the unemployment rate among youths in select rural and urban communities through the development of their capacity to access income generation opportunities and to assist in their development of business plans and formalizing of businesses.
Despite the country's advancements, chronic poverty continues in rural areas and some marginalized urban communities. The effects of the global financial crisis also pose major threats to the further reduction of poverty in the country. In this context, the youth of Jamaica are increasingly more vulnerable with unemployment levels of over 30% and more than 50% representation among the poor.
As the situation worsens, it becomes more difficult for marginalized youth to have access to resources provided by the formal sector. The youth employment project to be launched is therefore an important intervention to bridge the existing gaps and provide viable alternatives for youth who are at risk.
In achieving its objective to widen youth access to income and employment opportunities, the project will have close collaboration with the Jamaica Violence Prevention, Peace and Sustainable Development Project (JVPPSD) and the Jamaica Business Development Centre (JBDC).