UNDP, UNFPA, and Government of Iraq empower youth to achieve Sustainable Development Goals
October 27, 2022
Erbil, Iraq, 27 October 2022 – Today, the United Nations Development Programme Iraq (UNDP) and the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) have signed an agreement to jointly support the Government of Iraq in assessing the status of youth development in Iraq toward strengthening youth-focused policies, programmes, and budgets.
The Joint Cooperation Framework (JCF) will be implemented in cooperation with the Iraqi Ministry of Planning to ensure national ownership, effective partnership, and coordination, including cooperation with other relevant Iraqi government ministries. The project will begin in January 2023 and end in December 2024.
With a focus on adapting youth development index methodology to the Iraqi context, the project includes an in-depth analysis to identify the opportunities and challenges at each dimension of youth development in Iraq, which will form a basis to tailor policies and programmes to progress or regression of youth development as needed in various areas.
According to the Central Statistical Organization of Iraq, around 33% of the population in Iraq is between 10 and 24 years old, and the number of young people in Iraq is expected to reach 17.3 million by 2031. Ensuring accurate data on youth development at the governorate level will facilitate policy dialogue on youth engagement in reaching the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals in Iraq.
“Addressing the needs of youth is an absolute priority for stability, prosperity, and the long-term future of Iraq. The UN is working with the government to empower youth as they are our best hope to build a more peaceful future,” said Resident Coordinator Ghulam Isaczai, adding “We simply will not be able to end poverty, ensure gender equality, reverse climate change, and achieve the SDGs by 2030 if we fail to empower young people in all their yearning to create a better life for Iraq.”
“Monitoring the progress of development factors related to Iraq’s growing youth population is vital to implement actions that will benefit both the burgeoning youth population, and Iraq’s progress to achieving the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals. This agreement is beneficial for all parties involved, towards inclusive progress in Iraq,” emphasized UNDP Iraq Resident Representative Zena Ali-Ahmad.
"The young people of Iraq are a valuable resource for the country's sustainable development. However, they require all stakeholders' support to fulfil their aspirations. UNFPA is proud to partner with UNDP to assist the ministry of planning and the governorates in building a reliable database on youth development to ensure better policies and programmes for youth empowerment,” Dr. Rita Columbia, UNFPA Representative stated.
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