IFC to Help Address Skills Gap Among Arab Youth

The International Finance Corp. is introducing a $2 billion initiative to help address the gap between skills and employment in the Arab region’s youth population.

The Arab region has the highest youth unemployment rate in the world, according to a report commissioned by IFC. Despite this, employers in the region say they are not able to identify sufficiently skilled personnel, the Financial Times reports.

IFC’s proposed $1.5 billion to $2 billion program is a five-year initiative to be launched in partnership with the Islamic Development Bank, according to FT, citing IFC CEO Lars Thunell. The program aims to bridge the gap between existing education programs in the region and employment, Thunell said.

“We have seen the problem and we are trying to bridge the gap. One aspect of it is vocational training – but there are others as well,” FT quotes the IFC head. “I would look at this (initiative) as a menu of things and the next step is to look at the individual countries and say what are the problems in your particular country? … There is no silver bullet – if there was, someone would have done it already.”

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About the author

  • Ivy Mungcal

    As former senior staff writer, Ivy Mungcal contributed to several Devex publications. Her focus is on breaking news, and in particular on global aid reform and trends in the United States, Europe, the Caribbean, and the Americas. Before joining Devex in 2009, Ivy produced specialized content for U.S. and U.K.-based business websites.