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May 18, 2017

Youth empowerment project


May 18, 2017


A five-year project aimed at economically empowering the youth by providing sustainable livelihood to 17,000 young people in Layyah district was launched at a hotel in Lahore on Wednesday.

The event was organised by an NGO with support from Oxfam in Pakistan. Empower Youth for Work, a multicountry project, is designed to economically empower young people from disaster-prone communities in Layyah in Punjab and Jamshoro in Sindh by providing them with the opportunities to secure sustainable livelihood.

Under the project, the NGO, Oxfam’s implementing partner in Layyah district, will be providing entrepreneurship and skill-based training as well as access to finance to 17,000 young people, of whom 70 percent are girls between the ages of 15 years and 24 years.

More than 200 youths participated in the ceremony from Layyah and Lahore. Malik Ahmad Ali Aulakh, ex-agriculture minister, Arshad Hafeez, president, Layyah District Press Club and others were also present.

Discussing the role of young people in Pakistan’s development, Muhammad Qazilbash, country director of Oxfam in Pakistan, said, “While four million young people enter workforce every year in Pakistan, an estimated 60 percent of them are employed in low paid and unstable jobs. Youth is the energy that will determine the direction Pakistan will take.” He assured the participants that Oxfam would continue to prioritise supporting young people, in particular young girls, in becoming leaders and to ensure that their roles in Pakistan’s society and economy were adequately valued and recognised.

Under the Empower Youth for Work project, a rural hub will be formed in Layyah, liaising the youth with formal and informal job markets and multinational companies. Prime Minister Youth Programme Chief Coordinator Makhdum Adeel-ur-Rehman said that the beneficiaries of the project could be linked to the Prime Minister Youth Loan programme.

CM’s Strategic Reforms Unit Director General Salman Sufi said it was encouraging to see how, through this project, the young people especially young women residing in the rural areas of Layyah would be empowered through entrepreneurial skills education to earn sustainable livelihood.

Youth Affairs, Sports, Archeology and Tourism Department Secretary Nayyar Iqbal appreciated the project and said it was a timely initiative. The young people attending the event were excited by the opportunities that the project would bring for them. Oxfam in Pakistan is part of Oxfam international confederation of 19 independent non-governmental organisations across the globe. Oxfam in Pakistan works with young people and women, local communities, civil society and the government to promote social justice and equal rights for all. 

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