From World Bank

World Bank Group President Jim Yong Kim emphasized the importance of youth employment to sustainable development and combating violent extremism in his speech, “Development in a Time of Global Interdependence,” delivered at an event in Berlin, Germany.  Read his full remarks here. 

Excerpt from Kim’s speech:

But most worrying for us is the slow recovery in employment in almost every part of the world. An additional 75 million people were still jobless five years after the end of the global financial crisis.  The International Labor Organization has found that the share of young people who are neither studying nor working has been rising in three countries for every one where we’ve seen a decrease. The problem is most severe in the Middle East.  Since 2007, unemployment among young people increased the most in Middle East and North Africa. We have to attack this problem on multiple fronts at the same time but one of the most important steps we must take is to make it easier for small and medium enterprises to do business in this region.

Just a week ago, I was traveling in the Middle East and North Africa on a joint trip with the UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon. Everywhere I went I heard from young people and many others that the biggest reason so many were attracted to the cause of extremism was the lack of jobs, and the overall lack of hope for their future. If we are going to pull out the roots of extremism, we need political solutions to end conflict – but we need much more than that. We need to create jobs first and foremost, and to do that we need to help the most fragile and conflict-affected countries start building their economies and offering opportunities, especially for women and young people.