A small island development state (SIDS), Vanuatu is also classified as a Low Income Country according to the World Bank. Youth unemployment is high and reliance on imports has increased due to declining local food production. Tourism contributes an estimated 65% of the economy of the Pacific Island country which was devastated by Cyclone Pam in March 2015.
This SDG Fund programme is led by UNDP, in partnership with IFAD. The goal is to assist young people, including vulnerable youth who have not completed their formal education and are more likely to be limited in terms of employment to casual and low-pay work.
The Joint Programme assists the Government of Vanuatu in its priority to tackle youth unemployment, and the negative impact of this on the social and economic development. The programme:
- Creates employment opportunities for youth in organic agriculture through a value chain approach utilizing public private partnerships within the key economic sectors of agriculture and tourism.
- Enables scaled-up engagement by youth in organic farming to be sustained on commercial viable basis through the development of a value-added processing facility that provides skills training, knowledge transfer and employment for youth.
- Strengthens the institutional capacity of the local organisations, including the Vanuatu National Youth Council to effectively meet the needs of youth seeking information and employment within the organic agricultural sector.
- Shares information and knowledge from across the Pacific region to facilitate synergies that will result in increased employment opportunities for youth within organic agriculture value chains.
43% of Vanuatu population is under 15 years of age
The education system is producing around five times more school leavers than the number of jobs available annually
Less than 700 new jobs are created while close to 3,500 students leave school each year, thus leaving 2,800 without jobs