The Somalia Human Development Report 2012, issued by the UN Development Programme considers 82% of Somalis to be poor, with 73% living on less than $2 a day.
It also said that 40% of youths are actively looking for work, while 21% are neither working nor in school with unemployment becoming among the biggest threats facing the Somali society.
Unemployment among youths in Somalia has also prompted many to leave the war-torn nation.
Majority of the young people relocated to neighbouring countries in search of better opportunities. Some went as far as to cross the Mediterranean Sea into Europe due to deteriorating economic conditions back home.
The report surveyed 3,300 households to calculate a Youth Frustration Index. The most common reason young people gave for their frustration was the lack of employment opportunities. The highest levels of frustration were found in south-central Somalia, the epicenter of the war, where a score of 4.3 out of 5 was recorded.
Experts however say that the only solution is for the Somali government to create job opportunities rather than rely on private sectors to employ the country’s youth.
The report warned that the underlying problems faced by Somalia’s youngsters threaten peace efforts with youths aged 14 to 29 making up the bulk of militia fighters and criminal gangs.
The report called on donors to focus more on the root causes of conflict and longer-term development assistance to Somalia.
With a permanent government in place for the first time in two decades, the youth in Somalia hope that president Hassan Sheikh’s administration will address unemployment among the youth and create better working condition for the war and famine ravaged Somali people.
Author: Liban Farah
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