CDB Moves Closer to Finalising Youth Policy and Strategy

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The Caribbean Development Bank is moving closer to finalising its first Youth Policy and Operational Strategy (YPOS), which will guide its youth-related investments in the Region.

On July 27 - 28, stakeholders from 17 of CDB’s Borrowing Member Countries (BMCs) met in Barbados for a regional workshop to discuss recommendations coming from the consultations and youth study the Bank has been conducting to inform and shape the YPOS.

Four smiling young people holding youth-focused social media props
Some of the young participants took time out for a quick photo during the workshop. From left to right: Tijani Christian, Chairman of the Commonwealth Youth Council Khea Ireland of the Caribbean Youth Environment Network and Young Women’s Christian Association, Belize, Entrepreneur and Vybzing 2019 participant Britney Sealy and Shaquille Knowles – Chairman of the Caribbean Regional Youth Council.

The workshop brought together a range of stakeholders in youth development, including permanent secretaries, directors of youth, youth leaders, and representatives from academia and development organisations.

Director of Projects at CDB, Daniel Best noted that the Bank has provided over USD1 billion for youth development programmes and projects over its nearly 50 years of existence, but has not, to date, adopted a dedicated policy and strategy to guide these investments.

Despite encouraging results from projects which impact our youth, we acknowledge that there is room for even better youth development outcomes,” stated Best.

He said the YPOS is an important initiative for CDB as positive youth development outcomes align with CDB’s strategic priorities and are essential to the Region’s sustainable development.

 “This forum matters a lot to us at the Bank given our mandate to reduce poverty in our Borrowing Member Countries. This will only be possible if we create societies in which our youth can thrive. More than 60% of our region’s population is under the age of 30; this group represents a valuable resource for the sustainable development of our Region,” emphasised the Director.

During the two-day workshop, participants discussed the preliminary findings from the study of the youth development context in BMCs and identified key priority areas that require further work in their countries. They also reviewed the first draft of the YPOS, making contributions to develop and refine it.

The Youth Policy and Operational Strategy is set to be completed in the last quarter of 2019.

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