Niger is one of the poorest countries in the world, ranking last (189th out of 189 countries) in the 2018 Human Development index. Weak institutions, inadequate judicial systems, lack of freedom of expression, lack of access to education and health, for especially women, children, refugees and IDP’s are only some of the challenges the country is dealing with.
The crises in Mali and Libya, as well as the rise of the Boko Haram sect in Nigeria have had serious consequences for Niger, promoting the proliferation of weapons, drugs and religious extremism in the country and an influx of a large number of refugees. Oxfam IBIS is managing a 40 million grant from DANIDA to Niger, and will address some of these challenges through initiatives implemented by the Oxfam IBIS country office in Niger.
The programme will run from 2018 to 2022 and has a budget of 40 Million DKK. It promotes good governance, freedom of expression and respect for human rights by supporting the work of civil society organizations and independent administrative authorities. The main goals are to ensure that the population is better informed about human rights, the civil society is engaging more decisively in peace talks and the population has access to unbiased and reliable media coverage.
With more open and inclusive mechanisms, women, youth and marginalized groups of people can be included in the dialogues on key issues in society and will eventually lead to fewer conflicts over the management of natural resources, and the reduction of radicalization and violent extremism. Civil society actors will be trained in thematic areas such as International Human Rights Instruments, Law of armed conflict, Conflict analysis, Understanding the link between access to natural resources and conflicts and non-violent conflict management as well as more technical trainings on developing and managing projects and preparation of operational or financial reports.
The unemployment rate in MENA is the highest in the world and largely a youth phenomenon. Unemployment causes social stigma and a complete lack of opportunities and influence that prevents young people from participating in a positive development of their community. It can result in frustration, low self-esteem and apathy that increase the risk of social unrest and conflict. Studies show that lack of employment opportunities leads to brain drain because young people are looking to the Gulf countries and Europe.
If, on the other hand, they succeed in creating a dignified life and meaningful employment for the large youth generation, the MENA region can experience increased growth, greater social cohesion, more people contributing and influencing their lives and communities and more stability - just as young people want. The Arab Spring was about a show of widespread social and economic injustice and a lack of influence in the young countries' homelands.
These are the same wishes and needs that are found among the young people of MENA today, but in most places their conditions are even worse now than at the beginning of the Arab Spring. Work and income are crucial to young people's confidence and dignity and to their opportunities to be respected and influenced by their communities - and young people's participation and influence is a prerequisite for a good and peaceful development in MENA.
The project is part of the Danish-Arab Partnership Program (DAPP) under the Ministry of Foreign Affairs. DAPP's vision is to promote a democratic, prosperous and stable MENA region (Middle East and North Africa). The effort is divided into five thematic areas with each organization or consortium as a partner; Kvinfo et al. on equality, IMS on media, DIGNITY and others. on human rights, a consortium including DI and LO / FTF on labor market development, the African Development Bank on entrepreneurship and Oxfam IBIS on youth and job creation.
Under the heading “Youth Participation and Employment” Oxfam IBIS will reach young men and women aged 18-30 years, in the countryside and in the cities and in all education layers. Together with the young people themselves will ensure influence and create job opportunities for 10000 young people. Here's how we will work with young people to increase their influence and job opportunities:
Together, we must seek to remove the main barriers to young people's employment. The program runs for five years from 2017 with a total budget of DKK 175 million.
Countries: Morocco, Tunisia, Jordan and Egypt
Burkina Faso in West Africa ranks number 183 out of 189 on the Human Development Index 2018 and with major internal differences in terms of life expectancy, education and income level.
Oxfam IBIS manages a grant of 100 million from DANIDA and since 2016 has supported civil society in Burkina Faso in the following areas:
The aim is to strengthen a strong civil society, which contributes to improving living conditions and defending human rights.
Country: Burkina Faso
In Yemen, an entire generation of children and adolescents are being lost because their schools have been destroyed and teachers have disappeared. In Lebanon further north, there is an acute shortage of clean water among the Syrian refugees who have sought refuge here. And in Syria, among those who have remained, the hopelessness and lack of future opportunities for young people in particular are enormous.
They are now benefiting from the $ 35 million that Danida has just dedicated to Oxfam's humanitarian work in Yemen, Syria and among the Syrian refugees in Lebanon.
The money will go to clean water and sanitation for refugees in Lebanon and school children in Yemen. They will also support the work to make schools safe and secure places to stay and to retain teachers who have not been paid for several years and who otherwise have to leave or seek other work.
In Syria, the money will help vulnerable young people who are without education and work. They are offered courses in agricultural production and basic skills, and particularly vulnerable families will receive special assistance and assistance of various kinds. In total, we expect to reach 35,000 men, women and children who are currently in acute distress. At the same time, we are strengthening the local organizations that will help to create long-term development in the conflict-affected countries.
Countries: Yemen, Syria and Lebanon