Press release

31 May 2022

Amman, Jordan

ESCWA and partners launch “Josour” initiative to reduce inequalities in the Arab region

Beirut-Amman, 31 May 2022 (ESCWA)--As part of its efforts to reduce inequalities in the Arab region and given a youth unemployment rate of 26% - the highest rate in the world - the United Nations Economic and Social Commission for Western Asia (ESCWA) launched today “Josour” initiative in partnership with Pathfinders for Peaceful, Just and Inclusive Societies, the Union of Arab Banks and the Union of Arab Chambers, and a wide range of partners from the private sector and non-governmental institutions in the Arab region.

“Josour” is a regional initiative to reduce inequalities in the Arab region by creating employment opportunities for young people, and by providing training to improve their skills and increase their employability.

In her opening speech, Lebanese Superstar Elissa - the public figure advocating this initiative - stressed the need to support young people in the Arab region who are suffering from multiple crises and different forms of inequalities. She called on everyone to help reduce these inequalities in the best of their abilities.

The initiative was launched as part of the Arab Forum for Equality, which took place in Amman, Jordan on 30 and 31 May, gathering regional and international experts, government representatives, academics, youth from the region and media representatives.

“Today, we need access to innovative approaches and mechanisms to address challenges related to efficient recruitment and keep up with the Fourth Industrial Revolution, through new business partnerships and collaboration,” said ESCWA Executive Secretary Rola Dashti. She added that “Josour” aimed at bringing together stakeholders from the private sector and young people in the Arab region looking for jobs.

Partners in the “Josour” initiative will work on facilitating dialogue between youth and employers; providing trainings for young people to prepare them for the future of work; and identifying and addressing prejudicial attitudes towards women and persons with disabilities in the labour market.

The launch also featured interventions by Secretary-General of the Union of Arab Chambers Khaled Hanafy; Head of Research at the Union of Arab Banks Ali Awdeh; Chief Executive Officer of Pharco Pharmaceutical Corporation Sherine Helmy; Business Development Manager at ACWA Power Sarah Alharthey; and Team lead on ESCWA’s Future of Work initiative Salim Araji. The “Josour Jordan” and “Josour Lebanon” initiatives were also launched during the event.



One of five United Nations regional commissions, ESCWA supports inclusive and sustainable economic and social development in Arab States, and works on enhancing regional integration.

- Ms. Maryam Sleiman, Public Information Assistant, +961-81-769-888; email:
- Ms. Rania Harb, Public Information Assistant, +961-70-008-879; email:


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