The global pandemic has created unprecedented pressures at a broad scale. This has been particularly felt in regions where socio-economic structures are more fragile and where multilateral cooperation is essential. Addressing and empowering the youth in particular are essential for a faster development and tackling impoverishment.
Growing unemployment is a reality in many developing countries. Younger generations face difficulties accessing education and are frequently asked to further contribute to the household income, putting at risk the development of their local areas.
This is why the European Union puts the youth at the centre of its policies and support to the recovery during the pandemic. The EU and its multilateral and local partners are working to ensure that upskilling opportunities are available to many young people, whilst reaching out to exposed communities and providing health and food support. To provide a fast answer in these particular times, the EU has put forward a Team Europe package, with an amount of €36 billion to assist partners. It gives priority to vulnerable regions and countries which are home to the youngest populations.
Job markets require higher levels of expertise, which can only be addressed by providing training opportunities. Empowered youths are more capable of contributing to their economies and its development.
The EU is committed to help addressing structural causes of youth unemployment by promoting skills development strategies and educational reforms, including in the digital area. One of those projects is AfricaConnect, which aims to establish high-capacity regional data network for research and education in the entire continent. Providing reliable access to connectivity brings many youths out of the periphery of development.
With a broader range of skills, youths are better prepared to design their own destiny and face the challenges. Diversifying their skills raises the chances to develop sustainable and green economies, and of a broader socio-economic impact in their regions.
In the words of Malala Yousafzai 'Our books and our pens are the most powerful weapons'. Therefore, it is important to ensure that the youth can reach their books and pens to write the chapter of their present and their future.