EBRD and UNICEF team up to promote economic opportunities for all and achieve the SDGs

Increasing access to skills and employment for young people and women

24 September 2019
UNICEF Executive Director Henrietta H. Fore and European Bank for Reconstruction and Development President Sir Suma Chakrabarti
UNICEF Executive Director Henrietta H. Fore and European Bank for Reconstruction and Development President Sir Suma Chakrabarti

The EBRD and UNICEF are joining forces to boost access to economic opportunities, including through access to skills, employment and basic services for young people and women in the economies where the Bank invests.

Under a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU), signed today by EBRD President Suma Chakrabarti and UNICEF Executive Director Henrietta Fore, the two institutions pledge to bring together public and private stakeholders to enhance vocational education, skills and training for women and young people and increase their access to employment. In particular, the EBRD and UNICEF will explore opportunities to enhance the school-to-work transition, as well as connect secondary education and training to employment and entrepreneurship.

The EBRD and UNICEF are also looking to help vulnerable groups gain better access to services around the EBRD’s sustainable infrastructure investments, such as those in water, wastewater, sanitation, solid waste and transport projects.

The two institutions will also look to increase equal opportunities for underserved groups, such as refugees, migrants and groups affected by forced displacement, as well as people with disabilities and those discriminated against because of their gender identity and sexual orientation.

The collaboration is being initiated with pilot projects in selected countries in Central Asia, eastern Europe and the southern Caucasus region, and could be extended to other regions.

The signing took place on the margins of the UN General Assembly and the SDG Summit in New York and will contribute to the implementation of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development.

EBRD President Suma Chakrabarti said: “Creating a favourable environment for women and young people is of great importance. The EBRD is committed to enhancing economic integration of these groups through investment and support for policy reform.”

UNICEF Executive Director Henrietta Fore commented: “Today marks the beginning of a new, transformative partnership for children. Effective public-private alliances will enable innovative solutions to fast-track progress towards the Global Goals.”

The MoU’s targets are aligned with UNICEF’s Strategic Plan 2018-21 as well as with the EBRD’s key objectives as laid out in the Bank’s Economic Inclusion Strategy 2017-21 and the Strategy for the Promotion of Gender Equality 2016-20.


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