Unlocking the Potential of Youth

Speeches Shim

Unlocking the Potential of Youth
Unlocking the Potential of Youth
USAID

BACKGROUND

Two-thirds of Jordan’s population are under the age of 30 and the youth unemployment rate is approximately 50 percent. Insufficient employment opportunities and an education system that does not prepare youth for the workforce lead to apathy, frustration, and a perception by youth that they are not included in the process. USAID programming encourages equitable participation of youth in the economy and public life, which is essential for the country’s political and economic stability.

PROJECT OVERVIEW

EXPANDING ECONOMIC OPPORTUNITIES

Jordan’s youth unemployment rate has remained above 25 percent over the past three decades - reaching as high as 50 percent with the COVID-19 pandemic. With a lack of opportunities and a mismatch between skills gained through education and skills demanded by employers, as many as 45 percent of youth have considered emigrating from Jordan for better economic opportunities. USAID works with the private sector and government to increase employment opportunities and address barriers to employment for youth. USAID also trains youth in skills to prepare them to meet the economy’s demands, and provides access to resources to establish and expand businesses.

INCLUSIVE SOCIAL NORMS AND PRACTICES

Supportive households, communities, and organizations are essential for youth to realize their full potential. In cooperation with the Government of Jordan, USAID encourages the adoption of positive social attitudes and values that enable meaningful economic, political, social, and civic engagement through youth initiatives, advocacy, training, and social media discussions.

REMOVING BARRIERS TO LEADERSHIP

Enabling youth to participate in, and occupy, meaningful leadership roles in society and the economy is essential for Jordan to secure a stable and prosperous future. USAID’s market-driven initiatives, such as on-the-job training, have provided youth with the skills needed to participate in the economy and better prepare them to manage their own lives. Civic and political engagement programs involve youth in decision-making and create pathways for participation in public life. USAID’s programming strengthens the regulatory and institutional frameworks that underpin youth’s ability to assume leadership roles within their families, communities, and workplaces.

NOTEWORTHY ACHIEVEMENTS

  • In 2021, USAID enabled over 15,600 Jordanian youth to increase their leadership, civic engagement, and professional skills. Youth identified community challenges, developed recommendations, and presented them to government officials.  
  • In 2021, over 17,000 youth had new volunteer, work, internship, and educational opportunities through USAID activities. USAID supported youth economic participation by promoting policy changes that created the Flexible Working Hours Bylaws, simplified business registration, and codified legal protections. USAID’s online and virtual activities, including Shabab.jo and 28 virtual political candidate debates, have reached an estimated 795,500 young people. USAID and the Ministry of Youth developed Shabab.jo, a virtual youth platform, to provide youth access to learning materials, videos, and training courses.  
  • More than 17,000 youth participated in life-skills training focused on entrepreneurship, technology, green solutions, gender, social inclusion, entrepreneurship, and workforce preparedness. USAID has supported more than 584 youth-led civic and economic initiatives.  
  • USAID has renovated and equipped 62 centers for youth to meet the social and educational needs of young people. In addition, since 2015, nearly 3,000 youth have enrolled in USAID’s 43 non-formal education centers; of these nearly 700 have graduated enabling them to re-enroll in the formal education system to continue their secondary education, open a business, or pursue employment.  
  • Support the Ministry of Health to train healthcare providers on maternal and child health care and establish the first national Maternal Mortality Surveillance and Response System. Because teenage childbearing is more common among Syrian women (28 percent), USAID supports a multi-donor effort that provides free maternal and child health care to refugees. USAID also developed and ran COVID-19 prevention and vaccine uptake campaigns that included women and youth as target audiences.  
  • USAID provides financial support to 184 non-formal education centers across the Kingdom through the Accelerating Access Initiative (AAI) 2.0, which is a partnership between the international donor community and the Government of Jordan to increase access to education for all vulnerable youth in Jordan including refugees, children with disabilities, and out-of-school children regardless of nationality and status.

Last updated: June 22, 2022

Share This Page