The coronavirus pandemic has led to a surge in unemployment in Nepal, but it has hit young workers hard. Even before the coronavirus crisis, youth unemployment was a festering issue for the Nepali Government.
According to a recent UNICEF report, the unemployment rate among the youth (15-24 years) in Nepal is 21.4% in 2019. The pandemic has made it worse.
At this juncture, the Nepali Government has launched the ‘Youth Employment Transformation Initiative‘ project with the support of the World Bank (WB) to promote employment in the country.
Nepali Minister for Labor, Employment and Social Security Rameshwor Raya Yadav and World Bank Country Director Nepal Faris Hadad-Zervos inaugurated the project on July 20, 2020.
The USD 120 million project will enable poor and vulnerable youth secure employment, develop skillsets and gain access to capacity building opportunities.
Along with the Prime Minister Employment Programme, the project will be focusing on improving employment services and labor market outcomes, especially for youth over the next four years.
Moreover, the project aims at supporting over 75,000 of the most vulnerable unemployed youth at the local level to earn 100 days of wages each through temporary employment opportunities.
About 90% of the USD 120 million fund is allocated to the local governments to create jobs in the maintenance and upgrading of public infrastructure and public services for 100,000 unemployed youth.
Likewise, the project will support 753 local level Employment Service Centers to strengthen the workforce and to undertake recruitment and training processes.
“With the onset of COVID-19 and the subsequent contraction of the global job market, Nepal’s labor market is also affected with a huge number of job losses. In this context, result-driven implementation of the project at all three levels of the government is of critical importance,” stated Minister Rameshwor.
“Working with the government, development partners and the private sector, the World Bank will seek to contribute to a long thread of engagements that align to make a difference in the lives of the most vulnerable people,” said WB Country Director Faris.
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