Luxembourg reaffirms support to the Global Initiative on Decent Jobs for Youth

Donor renews partnership with the ILO with a particular focus on the Sahel region

Press release | 23 October 2018
From left: Mr Manuel Tonnar, Director of Development Cooperation and Humanitarian Action, Luxembourg's Ministry of Foreign and European Affairs, Mr Moussa Oumarou, ILO Deputy Director-General for Field Operations and Partnerships, Mr Pierre-Louis Lorenz, Permanent Representative of Luxembourg to the United Nations Office at Geneva 
GENEVA (ILO news) - This year’s annual partnership review meeting of Luxembourg and the ILO coincided with the launch of a new sub-regional initiative in the African Sahel region. The initiative is funded by the Grand-Duchy of Luxembourg under the Global Initiative on Decent Jobs for Youth.

“The socio-economic integration of women and youth is one of the three thematic priorities of Luxembourg’s new development cooperation strategy”, said Manuel Tonnar, Director of Development Cooperation and Humanitarian Action at the country’s Ministry of Foreign and European Affairs during the meeting. “The Global Initiative very much reflects our own approach to support SDG implementation at the national level and to tackle the underlying causes of youth employment in the Sahel region”, Tonnar added.

The Sahel region is one of the poorest regions in the world, yet full of opportunities. It faces enormous challenges, including climate change, extreme poverty, armed conflict and insecurity, as well as rapid population growth. While 150 million people are living in the Sahel now, their number will double by 2045. 75 percent of the population is under 34 years old.

The new programme will support effective youth employment initiatives in the Sahel, with a specific focus on quality apprenticeships and youth in the rural economy. Much of the activities will concentrate on Burkina Faso to address the challenges young Burkinabe face in finding a path towards decent employment.

Moussa Oumarou, ILO Deputy Director General for Field Operations and Partnerships, lauded the quality and exemplarity of the ILO-Luxembourg partnership. Besides the country’s strong support for ILO projects in West Africa, Oumarou highlighted Luxembourg’s important role as one of eight ILO partners providing Core Voluntary Funding as called for in the UN Reform Resolution. Such funding provides an important and flexible vehicle for the ILO to provide support to its constituents, especially to the Least Developed Countries in their efforts to promote the Decent work Agenda and the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).