Pakistan Calls For Prioritising Children’s Issues

New York, February 04, 2015

At the United Nation’s ECOSOC Youth Forum-2015, Pakistan highlighted special programmes introduced by the Government under Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif for maximizing employment and providing business opportunities for the youth.

Participating in the two day Youth Forum, Makhdoom Adeel-ur-Rehman, Chief Coordinator for Prime Minister’s Youth Programme said that as of now, a sum of $37.5 million has been disbursed through Prime Minister’s Youth Business Loan Scheme to almost 11000 loan applicants. “Participation of women has been encouraged by giving them special incentives. This support is helping the young men and women in excelling as entrepreneurs”, he added.

He also informed the Forum of Prime Minister’s Youth Skill Development Programme would provide training to 25,000 young men and women per year in 100 demand driven trades. In addition, he said, there were other programmes for the youth which includes Interest-free Loans Scheme, Fee Reimbursement Scheme, Laptops Scheme, and the Youth Training Scheme (in pipeline). He said that in total, the Government was investing approximately $250 million (25 billion rupees) every year through Prime Minister’s Youth Programme towards the betterment of youth so as to help them become true leaders of the future.

The Chief Coordinator emphasized that youth will have to be at the heart of post-2015 development agenda, not merely as beneficiaries but also as dynamic contributors. He said that United Nations Secretary General’s Synthesis Report recognizes that 1.8 billion youth and adolescents are the “engines for change”. “The participatory involvement of the youth both in the design as well as the implementation of the agenda will ensure that growth and development are inclusive and futuristic”, he added.

In one of the sessions of the Forum, he mentioned that Pakistan was passing through a period of youth bulge. Nearly 68% of Pakistan’s population is under the age of 30. He said that these youth would inevitably play an important role in the implementation of the post 2015 development agenda and would need an enabling environment for that.

Youth bulge, he said, can be both an asset and a challenge. “Like most other countries, Pakistan faces the formidable task of creating jobs and ensuring decent work for its youth”, he added.

The Chief Coordinator said that the Government of Pakistan was addressing youth unemployment by tackling illiteracy, encouraging higher education through scholarships and other incentives, imparting quality technical & vocational training and availability of micro-finance.

He also highlighted the challenges being faced by the country and need for Global Partnerships that would provide national governments financial and technical assistance and a policy space to pursue sustained and inclusive economic growth. In that regard, he underscored the importance of Official Development Assistance, technology transfer and capacity building for many developing countries including Pakistan in which United Nations has a great role to play. He stressed that the UN agencies should channelize their efforts through respective national governments for better results.