Najaf- 18 February 2020 – The Ministry of Planning has launched a programme to develop the competencies of young men and women in Najaf Governorate. The national initiative aims to provide 120,000 job opportunities for the Iraqi youth, in partnership with the private sector.
The conference was organized under the patronage of H.E. the Minister of Planning, Dr Nuri Sabah Al-Dulaimi. The Governor of Najaf, Mr. Louay Al-Yasiri and the Country Representative of the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO), Dr. Salah Hajj Hassan were in attendance along with women members of the House of Representatives, and public and private sector representatives.
In his welcoming address, H.E. Dr Sabah revealed the Ministry's collaborative endeavors with the private sector to create job opportunities through soft loans from the Central Bank of Iraq, and private and external banks. He called attention to the prominent role of Iraqi youth during recent demonstrations, which has motivated the formulation of this programme. H.E. also called on national and international entities to support joint initiatives with the private sector in an effort to enable Iraqi youth to meaningfully engage as active citizens in support of the country’s development.
During the conference, Mr. Luay Al-Yasiri, Governor of Najaf stressed on the importance of this programme as a valuable investment in the capabilities of young people to build Iraq, pointing out that the pioneering ideas of the youth in general and Najaf in particular can leave a positive impact on society and advance economic reality. On behalf of FAO, Dr Salah ElHajj Hassan expressed FAO’s appreciation of the efforts that will help Iraqi youth secure jobs. “This programme will contribute to securing opportunities for local and rural development, and thus the development of the Iraqi economy as a whole. The project will also expand cooperation among different sectors that will help create a suitable environment for investments in addition to raising the efficiency of national capacities and knowledge in various fields,” explained Dr. ElHajj Hassan. “These efforts will guarantee greater opportunities for success in agriculture, encourage the participation of young people and foster women's participation in rural development,” added Dr. ElHajj Hassan. He also highlighted the importance of linking this initiative with the ongoing transformation of agriculture from sectorial to services for the protection of local food production, which was initiated by his Excellency the Minister of Agriculture. He also confirmed that FAO is committed to supporting the Government in agricultural projects, Dr. Ismail Al-Aboudi, Coordinator of the National Youth Employment Project, emphasized that the objectives of these efforts are aimed at developing the private sector through medium-sized projects, providing job opportunities, addressing discontinued activities and strengthening the partnership led by the Ministry of Planning with the private sector.