PORT MORESBY, May 3, 2011—Today, the Government of Papua New Guinea through the National Capital District Commission (NCDC) launched a US$17.9 million initiative to benefit 17,500 young people in Port Moresby. Financed by the World Bank and NCDC, the Urban Youth Employment Project (UYEP) will provide young people with training and work experience to improve incomes and job prospects.
The project is financed by the World Bank (US$15.8 million); the National Capital District Commission (US$1.5 million); and the Republic of Korea (US$0.6 million). Additional co-financing has been provided by PNG LNG (US$0.9 million) and AusAID (US$0.04 million). In-kind commitments to support the project’s “Save for Your Future” mobile banking scheme have been made by BSP Ltd and Digcel (PNG) Ltd.
Young people make up almost half of Papua New Guinea (PNG)’s population and represent a disproportionate part of the urban poor. In Port Moresby, many lack the skills and qualifications needed to compete in the workforce and have become trapped in poverty and unemployment.
The project will provide youth with the knowledge and skills to compete in the workplace. It will help young people to generate income, strengthen their livelihoods and equip them with important skills that are required by employers based in the National Capital District (NCD). Communities and settlement areas will also benefit from the project through improved maintenance of urban infrastructure in poor neighborhoods across the city.
The project has taken the Government almost two years to prepare in order to ensure sufficient consultation with local communities, youth groups, civil society organizations, government agencies and industry leaders.
“As economic growth under the Somare Government opens up opportunities, the government will continue to fund programs like this with partners such as the World Bank to ensure our youth contribute meaningfully to the development of our society,” said Minister for Treasury and Finance, Peter O’Neil.
“Through strategic partnerships between the Government, World Bank and industry leaders, the project is a major step in ensuring that youth, who are most disadvantaged in the NCD, are given the opportunity to reach their full potential through training and work experience. The project also provides an important opportunity for youth to make a contribution to the City, and improve and benefit their own communities through the works and training that will be offered through the project,” said NCD Governor, Powes Parkop.
“The World Bank is delighted to provide assistance to this important project and would like to especially thank PNG LNG and the Republic of Korea for their support. The project will provide the means for the Government to address the needs of the urban youth through the promotion of legitimate income earning activities,” said World Bank Country Manager, Laura Bailey.
The PNG LNG Project is proud to help build the capacity of thousands of young Papua New Guinean men and women by supporting the Urban Youth Employment Project. This project will greatly enhance training and apprenticeships in the public, non-profit and private sectors for young people, creating long term benefits for Papua New Guinean communities”
said Peter Graham, Managing Director, Esso Highlands Limited.
The project focuses on young people between the ages of 16 and 25 years who have been out of school or work for at least 6 months; have been residents of the NCD for at least 12 months and have expressed a strong commitment to participate in the project’s training.
The five-year project will be implemented by NCDC’s Department of Community and Social Services, which is already managing a number of youth and urban safety initiatives. A competitive process is already underway to ensure that CSOs and other youth serving organizations in the public and private sectors are given the opportunity to deliver the project’s training and other important services.
Contacts for World Bank:
In Port Moresby:
+675 321 7111
+61 2 5740 6563
+61 2 9235 6547