More than 7,000 young people in Libya will benefit from an initiative launched by NGO Spark, the Islamic Development Fund (IsDB), and the Islamic Solidarity Fund for Development (ISFD), in partnership with Libyan stakeholders aimed at integrating the youth, including women into sustainable development.
In a press release, spark said 20 per cent of young people aged 15-24 are unemployed in Libya, compared with the global average of 13 percent.
It highlighted that the COVID-19 pandemic impacted the delivery of the already-suffering public services in Libya affected by decades of conflict and political crisis.
"A new 1,450,000 USD grant awarded by the (IsDB) and the (ISFD) to SPARK will support small and medium enterprises (SMEs) in Libya through short courses, and awareness-raising," the organization confirmed.
It indicated that the project will assist women, youth, and vulnerable groups in sustainable employment or start up their companies through entrepreneurship skills developments, technical assistance, providing finance opportunities, and facilitating access to markets.
Spark's former work in Libya was between 2016-18 through the Local Employment in Africa for Development (LEAD) programme.
Mourad Hentati, Regional Programme Director for North Africa at SPARK said the program is an opportunity for the organization to relaunch its activities in the Northern African country and respond to the growing urgent needs of youth and women in Libya.
He indicated that the one-year ‘Tadamon’ programme will allow the organization and its partners, namely Bina Incubator and Deraz, to provide quality services to young people, including equipping them with skills and capacities to mitigate the covid-19 impact, grow their economic activities, and ensure decent conditions amid a challenging social and economic environment.
According to the press release, the initiative also covers companies affected by the pandemic within the framework of contributing to the immediate and medium-term efforts to combat the negative impacts of COVID-19 on the Libyan economy.
"Micro, Small, and Medium-sized Enterprises (MSMEs) and health sectors are prioritized - 45 SMEs in the health sector will benefit from short courses/training on COVID 19 to gain skills surrounding emergencies and COVID-19 and to support their recovery process of COVID-19 consequences."
As part of its efforts to lead Libya towards the global UN Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) 8, which focuses on decent jobs and economic growth, the organization said it would provide women, youth, and vulnerable groups opportunities to take part in entrepreneurship skills and development training to help them build sustainable employment and self-employed.
Through technical assistance, the program will assist 90 micros, and small and medium-sized enterprises to scale up their activities and improve market access for developing companies.
Spark, is an international non-governmental development organization active in 14 regions throughout the Middle East, North and Sub-Saharan Africa. It says its goal is to create sustainable jobs for young people in fragile states.
Download press release : PDF