Tunisia youth unemployment a "serious problem", says UN Chief

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United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon and World Bank Group President Jim Yong Kim walk with President of Assembly of Representatives of the People, Mohammed Ennaceur (far left) at Parliament in Bardo, Tunisia, on March 28, 2016. Photo: Dominic Chavez/World Bank

Youth unemployment in Tunisia presents a "serious problem", the UN Secretary-General said during a visit to the country.

Ban Ki-moon and the World Bank President, Jim Yong Kim, are on the last leg of a four-country tour of the Middle Eastern region that includes Jordan, Lebanon and Iraq.

Janie Cangelosi reports.

Two out of five youth under the age of 30 representing almost a third of the working population do not have jobs while less than one in four women participate in the labour market, according to the World Bank.

Speaking to the press in the Tunisian capital Tunis, Mr Ban said creating decent jobs for the youth is a top priority for the UN.

 "You have made such a great transition to democracy. That we admire. But at the same time you have a lot of challenges: job creation, how to meet the expectation for young people who really raised their voices in 2011. Standing at 30 per cent of unemployment for young people, that creates serious problems."

Tunisia underwent a youth-driven popular uprising in 2011 during which government forces violently cracked down on citizens demanding democratic change.

Last month, the United Nations launched the Global Initiative for Decent Jobs for Youth a system-wide effort to tackle the problem of youth unemployment.

Janie Cangelosi, United Nations

Duration: 1’06″


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