Swedish Ambassador Ingrid Wetterqvist has disclosed that her country has provided US$3.8 million to the World Bank as contribution to the Government of Liberia project which benefits rural youths.
Ambassador Wetterqvist stated that the Youth Opportunity Program (YOP) aims to improve access to income generation opportunities for youths and strengthen the government’s capacity to implement its cash transfer program.
The Swedish diplomat made the disclosure Wednesday at a one-day National Youth Sector Consultative Dialogue organized by the Federation of Liberian Youth (FLY) under the theme: “Enhancing Youth
Inclusion and Participation for National Growth through Stakeholder consultation” held at a local hotel in the Monrovia suburb of Sinkor.
According to the Swedish envoy, since 2017, the YOP has enrolled over 8,000 beneficiaries with more than 7,000 of these being youths living in hard-to-reach rural areas in Liberia.
She further indicated that the program has supported youth in rural communities in Liberia to establish 258 youth-led farms in all 15 counties of the country.
Ambassador Wetterqvist noted that the program has also supported youths in urban areas under the support to household enterprises, which are sub-components, to set up 99 small businesses in the greater Monrovia area, and that it is currently recruiting 500 youths in urban areas to benefit from job-readiness training and psycho-social support.
She pointed out that Sweden is also contributing US$ 5.8 million to the Mercy Corps Prospects Program that will provide skills, jobs and livelihood opportunities for about 20,000 Liberian youths by the end of the program in 2020.
She asserted that so far a total of 1,728 unique individuals have been accessing prospects training services, 584 youths have completed a three-month on-the-job training and 230 youths were offered jobs at the end of their apprenticeship.