Addis Ababa : The World Bank has approved a 400-million USD grant aimed to support efforts to improve the incomes of the urban poor and promote the inclusion of disadvantaged urban youth in the labor market in Ethiopia.
Bank Group Board of Executive Directors approved the grant.
World Bank Country Director for Ethiopia, Eritrea, Sudan and South Sudan, Ousmane Dione said: “poverty and limited access to economic opportunities remain serious challenges in urban areas of Ethiopia, and the COVID-19 induced economic slowdown has further exacerbated the situation.”
Building on the successes of the World Bank-financed Urban Productive Safety Net Project, the project will provide social protection as well as jobs related services to 816,000 beneficiaries in around 83 cities across the country, the country director revealed.
Urban Productive Safety Nets and Jobs Project will include public works activities with a built-in strategy for graduation, including for refugees and host communities, and will provide direct cash transfers for the elderly, the disabled, pregnant mothers, and specialized social services for children in street situations and homeless adults, according to a press release of WB-Ethiopia.
The project will support an apprenticeship program to help communities get valuable work experience as a pathway to regular employment to tackle the issue of urban unemployment, especially amongst the youth, it was learned.
Senior Social Protection Specialist and Co-Task Team Leader for the project, Ayuba Sani Hussein said: “Given the economic opportunities in urban areas, and based on the government’s priority for inclusive growth, it is important to combine safety nets with livelihood support and job opportunities, particularly in a country like Ethiopia where young people account for the majority of its population.”
Furthermore, the project will provide adequate technical assistance and capacity building for the Federal Urban Job Creation and Food Security Agency under the Ministry of Urban Development and Construction, Ministry of Labor and Social Affairs, Jobs Creation Commission, Agency for Refugees and Returnees Affairs, private sector firms and other partners to ensure the successful implementation of planned activities.
The World Bank International Development Association has supported development work in 113 countries of the world by providing grants and low to zero-interest loans for projects and programs that boost economic growth, reduce poverty, and improve the poor lives of the people.
Source: Ethiopia News agency