* Any views expressed in this article are those of the author and not of Thomson Reuters Foundation.
MANILA, PHILIPPINES. Global child rights organization Plan International and the Asian Development Bank signed a new partnership agreement (2017 – 2020), reinforcing their joint commitments to the economic and social growth and development of children and young people in Asia and the Pacific.
The partnership will capitalize on the success of the first partnership agreement (2013 – 2016) and the achievements made to bring youth issues to the forefront of the policy and development agenda through the engagement and participation of children and youth.
Moving forward, Plan International and the Asian Development Bank will collaborate on the following priority areas:
- Poverty Reduction and Inclusive Economic Growth
- Environment and Climate Change
“Over the next decade, more than one billion children will make the transition through adolescence into adulthood, the largest group in history. In Asia-Pacific, youth will comprise the 18% of the total population (some 650 million persons).
"It is critical that we invest our energy, time and resources to ensure that youth, especially women and girls, are socially and economically equipped to secure meaningful work and included in education and the labour markets, also employment opportunities promote and protect the environment in our urban and rural areas,” says Senait Gebregziabher, Regional Director for Plan International in Asia.
The next phase of ADB and Plan International’s collaboration will largely focus on greater inclusion of youth in ADB operations and ADB Strategy 2030.
In addition, the partnership will foster opportunities for growth, responding to trends and demands within the business environment, including engaging with the private sector and using information and communication technology (ICT) for programme delivery.
The partnership will also support youth’s energy, actions and motivations towards the achievements of the Sustainable Development Goals.
"The potential of young women and girls to contribute to development continue to be undermined by gender-based inequality, which keeps them under represented and lacking in skills, education, and opportunities to become productive citizens. If empowered, young people, especially women and girls, can contribute to the achievement of the SDGs and help achieve ADB's vision of a region free of poverty," says Vice-President for Knowledge Management and Sustainable Development of the Asian Development Bank Bambang Susantono.
The partnership was agreed at the Asian Development Bank on 20 March, in conjunction with the launch of a joint research report, entitled ‘Gender, Youth Economic Empowerment and Internal Economic Migration in Vietnam and the Philippines’.
With women in Asia and the Pacific encompassing a large portion of the those who migrate overseas, the report aims to shed light on how to promote and encourage safe migration amongst girls and young women in the region.
In 2013, ADB and Plan International entered into a 4-year partnership (2013 to 2016) to engage the over 717 million youth in the region in development issues that concern them. The first MOU was signed in 2013, and served as a framework for different areas of collaboration and shared experiences in working with youth.
Since 2013, Plan International and the ADB partnership resulted in:
- At least 25 co-organised 25 ADB knowledge events
- Over 350 youth from Plan International participated in ADB events
- $13.5 million-worth of ADB support for Plan International projects
- 26 ADB projects included youth components through Plan International’s assistance
- 1 education financing partnership facility developed to support youth education and employment projects