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NEWS ITEMS


World Development Report 2007 Urges More Investment in Developing World's Record Youth Population
Detail: According to the World Development Report 2007, launched at the World Bank's Annual Meetings in Singapore, investing in better education, healthcare, and job training for the 1.3 billion young people now living in the developing world-the largest-ever youth group in history, is a way for developing countries to produce surging economic growth and sharply reduce poverty.

The current generation of youth is healthier and better educated than previous generations, and they will join the workforce with fewer dependents because of changing demographics. Training this generation today is an opportunity worth seizing to create more effective workers and active citizens. This is especially important as young people make up nearly half of the ranks of the world's unemployed. 130 million young people in the age group of 15-24 years cannot read or write. Secondary education and skill acquisition make sense only if primary schooling has been successful. This is still far from being the case and efforts have to be reinforced in this area.

Even though most policymakers know that their young people will greatly influence their national, social, and economic fortunes, strategies for effective investment in youth are lacking. The World Development Report identifies three strategic policies that may enhance investment in young people: (1) Expanding opportunities, (2) improving capabilities, and (3) offering second chances for young people who have fallen behind due to difficult circumstances or poor choices. These address five fundamental transitions facing young people and affecting their whole economic, social and family life, namely getting an education, finding work, staying healthy, forming families, and exercising citizenship.

For more information contact
In Singapore: Maya Brahmam Global Cell 44-7753-782-019 mbrahmam@worldbank.org
Phil Hay Global cell:(202) 409 2909 phay@worldbank.org
TV/Radio: Camille Funnell Local tel no: (81) 815364 cfunnell@worldbank.org
In Washington: Kavita Watsa (202)458-8810 kwatsa@worldbank.org
Source: Press Release No:2007/56/DEC in http://web.worldbank.org/WBSITE/EXTERNAL/NEWS/
Date: September 21 2006