The Sierra Leone delegation on Tuesday 17th November 2009, stated at a donor’s meeting on ‘Post-Conflict Employment Creation, Income-generation and Reintegration’ at the Julia Taft Conference Room in the Millennium Plaza in New York, that a critical area of attention is youth unemployment.
“One of the burning problems that is giving my President sleepless nights is the problem of the huge number of unemployed able-bodied youths brought about as a result of the 11 years civil war.” The Ambassador and Deputy Permanent Representative for Political Affairs, H. E. Mr. Rupert S. Davies also said that youths supported and voted for the present government in the hope that it will best address their welfare by engaging them profitably and involving them in the nation-building process. This he said has not fully happened and has impacted on the prevalence of arm robbery and other crimes in the city lately.
To contain the youths, who constitute 60% of the population, it would mean creating jobs for them .To this end he said, the government will find it an “up-hill task” to accomplish its goals without the help of its bilateral and other partners. In view of these challenges, the Ambassador said, “the Sierra Leone delegation to the United Nations was “greatly encouraged to learn about the proposed project put together by the Bureau for Crisis Prevention and Recovery (BCPR) to support employment creation and reintegration initiative in member states with a view to promoting economic revitalization in agriculture and public works particularly for youths…”
He thought the International Community has not sufficiently committed itself to the youth unemployment problem in Sierra Leone despite the establishment recently of the Youth Commission. “Government has not been able to operationalize the outfit because of lack of necessary funding to kick–start the process. With this initiative, we look forward to a close collaboration with the Joint Support Team (JST) for a leap forward in addressing this problem.” Earlier, the Assistant Administrator and Director UNDP/BCPR, Mr. Jordan Ryan gave the welcome address while an overview of the UN Policy Documents and Electronic Platform was given by the Director, ILO/CRISIS Mr. Alfredo Lazarte-Hoyle. Later, the Senior Policy Advisor UNDP/BCPR Mr. Bartholomew Armah gave an overview of the Joint Support Team.
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