Youth key to a better future in the Arab region

Why Youth? Numbers matter!

Never has the Arab(1) region witnessed such a critical population mass of young people as it has today. Youth within the 15–29-years age bracket exceed 105 million, equivalent to one third of the Arab region’s population.

With two thirds of the region’s population below thirty years of age, young people dominate the region’s development agenda for the coming 2–3 decades. With the right policies and investments to empower youth, they can be the real asset for peace and sustainable development in the region.

Photo: UNDP Programme of Assistance to the Palestinian People

How is “Youth” defined?
The Arab Human Development Report 2016 defines “Youth” as the phase in life during which a person’s state changes from one of dependence (childhood) to one of independence (adulthood). Several factors stall this transition in the Arab region. That is why the report extends the age bracket for youth 10 15–29, instead of the standard 15–14 years bracket.

What is the Status of Youth across the region?
Young people remain are more vulnerable than ever because of conflicts, violent extremism, exclusion, poverty, economic recession and the prevalence of corruption.

Youth are coming of age in a context of widening income disparities, increasing inequality of opportunity, slowing average growth and shrinking job opportunities.

These challenges are affecting their will to participate in political spheres that do not meet their needs and their expectations. It is also eroding their trust in and support to state institutions.

Photo:UNDP Jordan

What hinders the empowerment of young people in the region?
1- limited decent job opportunities 
2- weak political participation 
3- poor-quality of health care and education services
4- mismanagement of social diversity
5- prevalence of traditions and practices that denies gender equality 
6- prolonged conflicts that erode development gains.

Photo:UNDP Sudan

Another Report? Why care?
The Arab Human Development Report 2016 examines challenges and opportunities facing youth in the Arab region, especially since 2011, and seeks to provide an overview on youth in the region and stimulate a broad dialogue between youth and key stakeholders on the future of development in the region, focusing on the role of youth as critical partners at this very point in time.

Youth who participated in launch of the Arab Human Development Report 2016

What does the Report propose?
The report calls upon Arab countries to invest in their young people and empower them to shape their own future as an urgent and critical priority in its own right, and as a prerequisite to foster their engagement in the development process–a call that is particularly timely as Arab countries embark on formulating their plans to meet the goals of the Sustainable Development Agenda 2030.

Photo:UNDP in Iraq

How can youth be empowered in the region?
Check out the new Arab Human Development report 2016 to know more about Youth’s status in the region.

Download the AHDR App and learn about human development in the Arab region since 2002.


(1)The Arab region includes: Algeria, Bahrain, Comoros, Djibouti, Egypt, Iraq, Jordan, Kuwait, Lebanon, Libya,Mauritania, Morocco, Oman, State of Palestine, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Somalia, Sudan, Syria, Tunisia, United Arab Emirates ,Yemen

One clap, two clap, three clap, forty?

By clapping more or less, you can signal to us which stories really stand out.