Public Works Documentary: Creating Jobs for Youth
Youth unemployment continues to be a severe problem in Egypt, which has been exacerbated since the January 2011 revolution. With the national unemployment rate at 13.4%, youth (i.e. 15-29 years old) bear a disproportionate share of Egypt’s jobless rate constituting 70.8% of the unemployed. In response to this dire situation, UNDP Egypt has implemented a labour intensive Public Works programme together with the Social Fund for Development (SFD) since 2012. The programme has been possible by generous support provided by the government of Japan. UNDP has recently published a documentary to highlight the achievements made in 2013 through the Public Works projects. It captures how the projects changed the lives of not only the youth workers, but how they impacted the general public that greatly benefited from the new infrastructures and social services.
For instance in Ibn Al-Aas village of Sharkia governorate, the project constructed a new potable water network for the villagers that have been living without access. It also provided some 40 jobs for youth and engineers in this process. “After installing pipes that delivered water to the village, we felt a substantial improvement in health of inhabitants” says Khaled Mohamed, head of the local development office in Ibn Al-Aas village.
While traditional labour-intensive public works programmes have mostly only provided jobs for men, the UNDP project includes social service work such as village health and environmental campaigns to provide equal opportunities for young women. It also provides them with training that will benefit their long-term job prospects in the future. “Given the importance of hygiene and environmental issues, I am aiming at improving the health status of my neighbours. I also received communication training by professionals to be able to better communicate with others.” say Rasha Mohamed, a health worker in Neda village of Sohag governorate.
UNDP Egypt will continue its support to provide well needed jobs in 2014. With continued support from the Japanese government, UNDP and SFD plans to implement infrastructure and social services projects in the poorest villages among the six governorates of Behiera, Giza, Assuit, Sohag, Aswan and New Valley. It targets to provide some 205,000 workdays in 2014 giving priorities to the young men and women.
DOCUMENTARY: Job Creation in Social Services and Public Works