Engaging Tunisian youth to achieve the MDGs

Since before the revolution, ILO and the MDG project focused on Tunisia’s high unemployment rates, particularly for women and in most disadvantaged areas such as the larger Tunis, Le Kef and Gafsa governorates. Despite suffering from a period of instability and absence of counterparts, the project has seen its areas of focus brought to the fore of the national agenda in the wake of the revolution.

Donor:   Millennium Development Goals Fund (MDGF)
Geographical area of implementation:  Tunisia - larger Tunis, Le Kef and Gafsa governorates
Implementing organizations: FAO, UNDP, UNIDO, IOM, ILO
National Counterparts: Ministry of Vocational Training and Employment, Ministry of Social Affairs, Ministry of Development and International Cooperation, Ministry of Agriculture, Ministry of Industry
Target beneficiaries: The final beneficiaries are potential entrepreneurs, potential migrants, and jobseekers (educated or low skilled).
Contact(s): Ms. Gehan ElSharkawy | Senior Programme Assistant

Implementation strategy

The joint programme targets three regions that were selected based on their needs and potential development capacities. These are larger Tunis, Le Kef, and Gafsa governorates. In such areas, there is an urgent need to design new and innovative employment creation programmes. The programme’s priority is to target the neediest and those with the lowest employment opportunities. The purpose is to improve employment opportunities for the hardest to employ, who are the youth with few/least valued skills, and those who live in the most marginalized regions/zones.


The programme aims to support the integration of government policy objectives through coordinated action on youth employment and migration at both central and local levels. The overall objective is to support Tunisia in its efforts to develop and enhance local capacities in migration-prone areas, through the sustainable creation of decent jobs and the promotion of local competencies in three pilot regions. The programme proposes to address disadvantaged youths from rural areas with targeted labour market measures aiming to minimize the risks of engaging in irregular migration through improved productivity, upgraded informal enterprises, and better conditions of work. The transformation of informal employment into formal and decent employment is an important feature of this programme.

Expected outcomes:

  • Youth and employment migration policies and programs are better adapted to labor market trends and the specific needs of unemployed university graduates and unemployed low skilled youths in the target regions (Tunis, El Kef, and Gafsa).
  • University graduates have better access to decent job opportunities and engage in the creation of SMEs in the target regions (Tunis , El Kef, and Gafsa).
  • Low skilled young men and women from Tunis, El Kef, and Gafsa have access to better employment and migration support services and decent job opportunities.