Showcasing joint collaboration between the US Agency for International Development (USAID) and the Government of Jordan in addressing the needs of marginalized Jordanian youth, the USAID Mission Director Mr. Jay Knott, Minister of Social Development H.E Hala Lattouf, and International Youth Foundation (IYF) President Mr. Bill Reese signed a Memorandum of Understanding on Monday launching the Youth:Work Jordan program.

This five-year, $30 million project funded by USAID and implemented by IYF is a collaborative effort with the Government of Jordan, private sector, and NGO partners to institutionalize a responsive, demand- driven program that will meet the needs of vulnerable youth and their communities. The Ministry of Social Development will act as the key government focal point to the program and will provide the International Youth Foundation with significant support including staff and technical assistance in the implementation, oversight and evaluation of activities. Close collaboration with other government institutions working with Jordanian young people is also envisioned, to support comprehensive and holistic programs that truly address the needs of youth.

The Youth:Work program will initially target six communities in Jordan to provide opportunities for marginalized youth 15 to 24 years of age who face significant challenges being out of school and unemployed. The program will equip these young people with the necessary skills to find employment, become active and positive agents of change within their communities, lead healthier lifestyles, and access public services that are youth friendly and respond to their needs. This model will later be replicated in other communities throughout the duration of the program.

The objective of Youth:Work is to improve social services and protection for vulnerable young people, with an overarching focus on employability and civic engagement. The program will work with public and private sector partners to strengthen the life, employability, and entrepreneurship skills of disadvantaged youth and to align them with market demands so that they are equipped for employment opportunities. The program will engage family and community members since they play a key role in shaping youth outlook, behavior and decisions. In addition, Youth:Work will build support networks and community-based alliances that connect disadvantaged youth to mainstream economic and social opportunities.

The collaboration with the Ministry of Social Development and other public sector entities will strengthen the provision and accessibility of existing government services to disadvantaged young people, as well as improve the responsiveness to their needs and priorities.

The launch of this program, specifically targeting 15 to 24 year olds, demonstrates USAID’s commitment to support Jordan’s efforts to alleviate the economic and social hardships facing young people.