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Over the past 25 years the number of workers living in extreme poverty has declined dramatically, despite the lasting impact of the 2008 economic crisis and global recession. In developing countries, the middle class now makes up more than 34 percent of total employment – a number that has almost tripled between 1991 and 2015.

However, as the global economy continues to recover we are seeing slower growth, widening inequalities, and not enough jobs to keep up with a growing labour force. According to the International Labour Organization, more than 204 million people were unemployed in 2015.

The SDGs promote sustained economic growth, higher levels of productivity and technological innovation. Encouraging entrepreneurship and job creation are key to this, as are effective measures to eradicate forced labour, slavery and human trafficking. With these targets in mind, the goal is to achieve full and productive employment, and decent work, for all women and men by 2030.

Goals in action

UNDP in Benin

Sowing the seeds of a green revolution

Each year, more than 100,000 new jobseekers enter the already saturated job market. In response UNDP and the Government of Benin have implemented two projects. Business Promotion Centres train young entrepreneurs on starting their own businesses, while the project to promote agricultural entrepreneurship introduces young people to organic farming and agri-food processing. MORE >

UNDP in Cameroon

Renewed market boosts local economy and benefits Nigerian refugees

On busy days, more than 10,000 people congregate at the newly-renovated Zamaï market in Mokolo city in Cameroon’s Far North Region. The market renewal was part of an early recovery programme set up by UNDP and the governments of Cameroon and Japan to strengthen emergency preparedness in the country’s northern region. MORE >

UNDP in Eritrea

Youth in Eritrea gain skills to unlock employment opportunities

Eritrea faces wide scale youth unemployment, pushing many young people to brave their chances and migrate in search of better opportunities. To address these issues, a project by the National Union of Eritrean Youth and Students, with financial support from Norway, Japan and UNDP, is providing youth with vocational skills and training to help them find jobs. MORE >

UNDP in Côte d’Ivoire

More than 250,000 people see lives improve through anti-poverty programme

Akissin is one of more than 274,000 people who have benefited from the UNDP-led Programme d’Appui à la Réduction de la Pauvreté – PARP (Poverty Reduction Support Programme) to improve living conditions and fight poverty in the country. MORE >

UNDP in Central African Republic

Boosting the potential of artisanal diamond mining

The diamond sector remains the CAR’s principal source of revenue. The challenge is that the diamond industry is almost solely artisanal, characterised by high informality. Only as much as 2% of the artisanal miners in the country are registered. MORE >

UNDP in Zimbabwe

Staying the Course in Supporting Land Reforms in Zimbabwe

With EU and UNDP support, key stakeholders in Zimbabwe’s land sector held face-to-face talks in Harare, setting the stage for a dialogue process that is crucial in unlocking the country’s huge agricultural potential through a sustainable land reform process. MORE >

UNDP Around the world

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