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Engaging Tunisian Youth to achieve the MDGs: a UN Joint program

Tunisia registers one of the highest unemployment rates in the world with more than 14% of the active population being unemployed. Unemployment is severely affecting youth (particularly young graduates) and women.

To support employment creation in Tunisia and to assist the Tunisian government in confronting such a national priority, a joint UN program involving FAO, IOM, UNDP, UNIDO and ILO was approved by the Millennium Development Goal Spanish Fund and signed on 15 December 2008 in Tunis at the presence of the Minister of Employment and Professional Insertion of Youth, Mr. Slim Tlatli. 

Engaging Tunisian Youth to Achieve the MDGs is a 3-year programme for a total amount of USD 3.12 million aiming at adapting youth and employment migration policies and programs to the labor market trends and at addressing the specific needs of unemployed university graduates and low skilled youth.
The following three regions, where the highest level of unemployment is registered, have been selected for inclusion in the project:

1. Tunis Area (or Large Tunis) includes several Governorates (Ariana, Ben Arous, Mennouba and Tunis), which together form the largest and most dynamic economic region. This region generates the largest number of jobs and also attracts the largest number of migrants from all over the country. However, it is also the home of a proportionate number of the unemployed. More than one fourth of the young women and men unemployed and of first time jobseekers are in this region.
2. El Kef Governorate, is a predominantly rural region. This region has the highest unemployment rate and is characterized by a negative population growth rate (-0.5%).
3. Gafsa Governorate is a region severely hit by unemployment, particularly in the mining area.  The mining industry is unable to meet the employment demand and Gafsa faces a growing challenge in creating employment opportunities outside the declining mining sector. 

The programme was launched in February 2009 with field missions to El Kef and Gafsa Governorates. 

UNIDO will provide technical assistance at all stages of the project. In particular, it will ensure youth to receive suitable support at regional level, fair information and easier access to tailored programs aiming at improving their skills for better employability and supporting the creation of micro, small and medium enterprises.

UNIDO will bring to the Joint Program the experience and expertise developed in the field of ICT, Entreprise Creation and Enterprise Development and Youth Led Development.

Related article regarding the program launch in El Kef and Gafsa regions, see More Information.