Youth for Future (Y4F): Youth Empowerment and Integration in Host Communities

The project is implemented by the ILO and UNICEF, and works on a three-pronged approach that combines skills development and career guidance services, capacity development of key stakeholders and policy engagement to improve livelihood opportunities and strengthen the socio-economic resilience of young migrants, refugees, and youth in host communities.

Implementing Partner(s): UNICEF

Geographical area of implementation: Greater Cairo, Alexandria, Damietta and Kafr El-Sheikh

Project Background

Since 2013, the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region has been facing large-scale mixed migration flows through and from countries in the region, including Egypt. Egypt is a country of destination and transit for refugees and other migrants, as well as a country of origin. It hosts over 6.3 million migrants- where 900,000 persons are considered vulnerable and over 265,013 are registered refugees and asylum seekers as of May 2021. This includes around 600,000 migrants and 98,657 refugees who are children - out of which 4,176 are unaccompanied and separated.

Many refugees and migrants live in Egypt for years in protracted displacement, including large numbers of children, adolescents, and youth. They face several vulnerabilities, social protection issues and labour market integration challenges. Among the most pressing challenges are barriers to residency and secure stay; difficulties to obtain work permits, limited access to employment services, limited access to education and training.
Employability services could help refugees and migrants to navigate this challenging labour market landscape, yet currently are either inaccessible, too little known, or do not cater to the realities of youth in host communities.
Female migrants residing in Egypt face additional challenges and are at a “double disadvantage” - first as immigrants and second as women. They often take on family and childcare obligations which may hamper their ability to join the work force.

This project has been designed to provide young migrants, refugees, and youth in host communities access to better livelihoods through enhanced life, employability and entrepreneurial skills while taking into account the needs and the impacts of the COVID-19 crisis during the first phase of the project.

National Counterparts

• Ministry of Youth & Sports (MoYs)
• Ministry of Health and Population (MoHP)
• Ministry of Manpower (MoM)
• Ministry of Foreign Affairs
• International & National NGOs
• Employers’ Organizations (Private Sector)
• Workers’ Organizations (Trade Unions)
• Private Sector Coalition for Meshwary

Target Group

Young migrants, refugees and adolescents in host communities in the age group (18 to 35 yr./old) in the governorates of Greater Cairo, Alexandria, Damietta and Kafr El-Sheikh. The project will target 50% girls and women, 30% migrant and refugee adolescents and youth.

Total number of direct beneficiaries is 26,650.

Specific Objectives

The project aims to improve livelihood opportunities and strengthen the socio-economic resilience of young migrants, refugees, and youth in host communities through improved policy frameworks, enhanced employability skills and career prospects as well as inclusive youth centres providing a safe space for social interaction and cohesion building.

Jointly implementing the project, ILO and UNICEF will use a three-pronged approach that combines skills development and career guidance services at the individual (micro) level, with capacity development of key stakeholders at the institutional (meso) level and policy engagement on the national (macro) level.

Expected Results

1. Egyptian and Migrant adolescents and youth men and women have increased employability; through enhancing their knowledge and skills that support their employability and ease the process of adaptation and access to the labour market for the target group. To support effectively the delivery of the programme, the quality and scope of services provided at the youth centre is increased and staff are trained accordingly.

2. Youth centres are equipped and capacitated to promote inclusive, child protection, and gender-responsive services for both Egyptian and migrant youth/adolescents through growing Youth Centres into Community Centres, creating inclusive spaces for the development, empowerment and participation of the target group, promoting gender equality and social cohesion, with an inclusivity lens.

3. Advocacy: Increase the awareness of the Government of Egypt, key ministries, employers, and workers’ representatives on the importance of including migrants and refugees in the national labour market.