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UK aid’s approach to youth employment in the Middle East and North Africa

A review


Independent Commission for Aid Impact

Over half of the population in the MENA region is under 24 years old and a quarter of young people in the labour force are unemployed. Some countries within the region report that up to 60% of young women are not in education, employment or training (NEET), whilst nearly 30% of young unemployed people across the region have a university degree. This review assesses whether the UK has been relevant and effective in promoting employment opportunities for young men and women in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region.

ICAI scored the UK aid’s approach to youth employment in MENA as amber-red, meaning it is unsatisfactory in most areas, despite a relevant overall approach to promote economic stability and positive collaboration between aid actors. We made five recommendations on how the Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office (FCDO) can improve its impact on youth unemployment in the region, including for women and vulnerable people.

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