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Government to Collaborate with UNDP to Scale up Youth Empowerment Initiatives

“Government will play a leading role in mainstreaming marginalized youth by scaling up youth empowerment initiatives of UNDP,” said Prime Minister Imran Khan in a meeting with Mr. Muhammad Usman Dar, Special Assistant to the Prime Minister on Youth Affairs, and Mr. Ignacio Artaza, UNDP’s Resident Representative in Pakistan. Prime Minister was briefed on UNDP’s Youth Empowerment Programme (YEP), which aims to support youth engagement and empowerment initiatives across Pakistan over a period of five years. Mr. Muhammad Usman Dar informed the Prime Minister of his Office’s joint efforts with UNDP to engage youth groups and stakeholders on the government’s upcoming youth initiatives, such as the first- ever National Youth Conference, National Youth Development Index, and National Youth Development Programme. He appreciated UNDP’s technical and resource assistance for the Government’s efforts to design the National Youth Development Programme that will serve as an umbrella platform for all youth- focused initiatives of the Government. Mr. Dar has recently joined as co-chair of the UNDP Youth Empowerment Programme’s Steering Committee. He expressed hope that our institutional partnership would serve to align our shared objectives for Pakistani youth’s meaningful engagement, quality education and gainful employment. Youth Empowerment Programme aims to promote youth empowerment by reducing young women and men’s vulnerability and exclusion through a three-pronged approach: 1) Jobs/Economic Empowerment, 2) Social Engagement, and 3) Education/Skills Development. A country-wide programme with federal and provincial components (Balochistan, Khyber Pakhtunkhwa and Sindh), YEP aims to empower 200,000 marginalized and excluded youth (50% women). The programme has a budget of US$ 30 Million, of which US$ 8 Million is already committed by the Governments of Norway, Japan and United States.

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