UNICEF: Greater Investment In Youth Vital For Asia-Pacific Economic Development

UNICEF and the Asia-Pacific Interagency Group on Youth have called on regional governments to focus on the Asia-Pacific’s 1.1 billion young people.

AsianScientist (Oct. 7, 2011) – UNICEF and the Asia-Pacific Interagency Group on Youth have called on regional governments to focus greater energy on Asia-Pacific’s 1.1 billion young people, which they say are vital for the region’s future economic development.

Speaking at the launch of a new policy guide Investing in Youth Policy, UNICEF’s Regional Director for East Asia and the Pacific, Anupama Rao Singh, said the policy guide makes a strong case for governments to put young people higher on the policy agenda.

Investing in Youth Policy was one of the initiatives developed by the Group during the UN International Year of Youth, which began on International Youth Day (August 12, 2010).

“The sheer size of the youth population in Asia and the Pacific means investing in this new generation will better harness their energy and skills. This is absolutely vital,” Singh said.

Booming economic growth has meant that the majority of young people in the region are now better able to participate productively in society. However, widening economic and social gaps have also left many others suffering from extreme poverty, gender inequality, limited access to education, poor health, disability, inadequate housing, and exploitation.

Investing in Youth Policy
features practical examples on how to develop effective policies and carry out programs to help young people realize their full potential and support their transition into adulthood.

The guide is being made available as an online flip book, featuring positive policy initiatives from Bhutan, Cambodia, Nepal, the Pacific, the Philippines, Timor Leste, and Vietnam.

“Harnessing the potential and energy of the huge numbers of young people across Asia is key to the continent’s growth but we need good data on vulnerable young people that captures the full picture – numbers of poor girls, unemployed boys, ethnic minorities, or youth living in rural areas on subsistence, or on city streets,” said Daniel Toole, UNICEF’s Regional Director for South Asia.

“By understanding their distinct and varying needs we can then know how to respond.”


Source: UNICEF; Photo: World Bank/Curt Carnemark.
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