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Investing in rural youth in the Near East, North Africa, Europe and Central Asia

Countries of the Near East, North Africa, Europe and Central Asia region face a myriad of social, economic and political challenges that have stalled their structural and rural transformation processes.

The region has the highest youth unemployment rates in the world. Weak education systems are failing to provide youth, especially in rural areas, with the skills they need to compete in a global economy.

The resulting high rates of joblessness, unemployment and informal work have encouraged rural youth to migrate to urban areas and abroad in search of better opportunities.

This study reviews the opportunities and challenges facing rural youth in the region and suggests a number of programmes and policy priorities that governments can take into consideration.

Launched in March 2016, the IFAD Research Series brings together cutting-edge thinking and research on smallholder agriculture, rural development and related themes. The Series includes rigorous reviews and studies on a broad and diverse range of themes related to IFAD’s work in smallholder agriculture and rural development. The research papers are authored by researchers and technical experts from IFAD and partner institutions and are based on research, statistics, technical work or field-based work.

All papers can be found on the IFAD website

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