Press Release

Investments in Young People’s Human Capital needed to Lift Least Developed Countries Out of Poverty

27 May 2016

ANTALYA, Turkey – Young people can lift the world’s 48 least developed countries out of poverty, provided governments invest in the education, empowerment and employment of millions of people poised to enter the labour force, top officials from these countries agreed here yesterday.

In a set of far-reaching recommendations issued on the eve of a gathering to assess recent progress in the least developed countries, ministers and government officials cited advances in reducing infant, child and maternal death. But entrenched gender inequality, low educational attainment and other factors continue to hamper growth.

“The investments required to realize the demographic dividend and ultimately achieve sustained, inclusive and equitable development, include investing in the capabilities, empowerment, health and rights of young people in least developed countries,” stated the ministers in a declaration issued at the end of the meeting. “For this to be achieved, institutional reform, domestic resource mobilization as well as systematic consultations involving private sector, non-governmental organizations, young people, other community leaders and the international community are required.” 

Young people in the least developed countries are especially important for development. About one in every three people in these countries is between the ages of 10 and 24. Educated, empowered and employed young people have the potential to drive economic growth.

Representatives from governments, the private sector, multilateral organizations, civil society and academia are meeting in Antalya, 27-29 May, for a High-Level Midterm Review of the Istanbul Programme of Action, a 10-year roadmap for the achieving progress in the least developed countries. The event will result in an inter-governmentally negotiated and agreed political declaration.

To watch a Webcast of the event, click here

For more information, please contact:

● In Turkey: Michelle Sahal Estime, UNFPA Regional Office,, +90 534 517 3219
● Other countries: Eddie Wright, UNFPA HQ,, +1 212 297 2717