In the Caribbean, UNDP providing vital entrepreneurial skills for youth

Aug 29, 2013

UN Under-Secretary-General and UNDP Associate Administrator Rebeca Grynspan and UN Resident Coordinator and UNDP Resident Representative for Barbados and the Eastern Caribbean, Stephen O’Malley engaging regional journalists

The United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) in Barbados Subregional Office is working with Caribbean states  to train young people to become entrepreneurs through the implementation of the Youth Innovation (Youth-IN): A Caribbean Network for Youth Development project. This UNDP support will assist Caribbean states and citizens reduce current unemployment figures, especially among youth.

UN Under-Secretary-General and UNDP Associate Administrator Rebeca Grynspan told Barbadian and regional journalists that a lack of employment opportunities to enter the labour force is a major concern because it can affect the prospects and opportunities that a person has in the future. She says this is a matter that UNDP is giving priority  and special attention.

Ms. Grynspan also shared information with Barbadian and regional journalists during her media briefing at UN house yesterday that through the Youth Innovation (Youth-IN project) being implemented by the Barbados and the OECS country office, youth are benefiting from entrepreneurship training as an alternative to  traditional employment. She noted that technology is key to sustainable development as renewable energy and the blue economy hold the potential to generate new employment options and sources of income.

“We do not want to allow short term hardship to become a long-term problem,” she said.

With respect to future SIDS development, the Under-Secretary-General reiterated her call for international financial agencies to move beyond gross domestic product (GDP) indicators to measure growth and development progress. She stressed that measuring and assessing the status of middle incomes countries by GDP alone limits their access to development funds.

“To be a high income per capita SIDS doesn’t mean anything when you are faced with these external shocks and so I would really like to see much more flexibility and much more understanding of the vulnerability of the SIDS.”

She reminded the media that this call went out from the Rio+20 and she said it will be championed by the UNDP at the post 2015 Development Agenda because while there has been more awareness and understanding of the issue, this has not translated into new rules and regulations from the international financial agencies.

She concluded that collective action is needed to resolve these issues and she cautioned it will not be easy but is possible, particularly if the regional and international groupings strengthen cooperation to support the special needs of SIDS.

Contact information

Janine Chase, UNDP Barbados:; + 1 246 467 6041

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