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Silatech and BRAC partner to promote self-employment through financial inclusion for 684,000 youth in Bangladesh

New York, 17 September 2023 – Silatech has announced a partnership with BRAC, the world’s largest development organization, to promote youth income generation through financial inclusion and unlock access to finance for 684,212 youth in Bangladesh to become self-employed.

The project, Unlocking Financial Solutions for Youth Enterprise Development was signed on the sidelines of the 78th edition of the United Nations General Assembly (UNGA) in New York today.

It aims to address the lack of access to traditional financing resources for the youth of Bangladesh who seek to sustain, start, or expand their income-generating ventures.

Over the course of three years, the project will provide financing products to young people who do not have access to traditional banking services. Moreover, it will offer financial literacy and entrepreneurial training programs to enhance the sustainability of their ventures and improve the financial literacy and capabilities of youth entrepreneurs.

The lack of access to formal financing is a significant challenge for small and medium enterprises (SMEs) in Bangladesh, with the World Bank estimating a financing gap of US$2.8 billion. This gap is particularly pronounced for women-led SMEs, as 60 percent of them lack collateral.

The COVID-19 pandemic has further exacerbated these challenges, leading to reduced income, job loss, and limited financial access for youth. The project seeks to bridge this financial gap and create meaningful economic opportunities for young people and their families.

“By promoting youth income generation through financial inclusion and empowering Bangladesh’s youth, we are confident that this project will significantly improve their livelihoods, create more employment opportunities within their ventures, and drive sustainable economic growth. Bangladesh has a huge youth population with few opportunities as it is the densest country in the world, and we are excited to partner with BRAC, the world’s largest development organization to help reduce the suffering of many youths due to lack of access to financial solutions” said Hassan Al Mulla, Silatech CEO.

Asif Saleh, the Executive Director of BRAC said, “BRAC believes in the power of youth to drive economic growth. We are extending microfinance services and combining it with financial literacy, and entrepreneurship training to young entrepreneurs from marginalized backgrounds. Our client-centric approach ensures tailored financial products, while mentorship and capacity building would help the young entrepreneurs fuel the growth of their businesses. We are excited to be partnering with Silatech in testing this innovative model to support young entrepreneurs in Bangladesh. This will help us not only to design more effective products but also understand and manage risks better.”

This partnership marks an important step towards youth economic empowerment and creating a more equitable and prosperous future for disadvantaged communities.

The Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Qatar, Silatech and the World Health Organization hold high-level side event at the United Nations General Assembly to accelerate work on the projected global shortage of health workers

The event concluded with participants agreeing to invest in human capital in the global health sector

New York, 22 September, 2019

Silatech and the World Health Organization have partnered with the Ministry for Foreign Affairs in Qatar hosted a high-level strategy event and panel discussion on the margins of the UN General Assembly to accelerate action on the projected global shortfall of 18 million health workers by 2030.

The high-level event, “Investing in education, skills and jobs in the health sector,” was attended by ministers of health, economy and development, representatives of governments, international development organizations, United Nations organizations, health-care representatives, international financial institutions and permanent representatives to the United Nations. Each stressed in their contributions that investment in healthcare would help achieve global economic and social development.

HE. Mr. Soltan bin Saad Al-Muraikhi, the State Minister for Foreign Affairs, former President of Liberia and Nobel laureate Ellen Johnson Sirleaf, Norwegian Minister of Health Mr. Bent Høie.

HE. Mr. Soltan bin Saad Al-Muraikhi, the State Minister for Foreign Affairs, said at the outset of his speech that: “Qatar’s aspiration has been and remains a leading role in contributing to the achievement of the sustainable development goals at the local, regional and international level, and by providing effective support in the face of humanitarian and economic challenges and crises, and that it works in solidarity with international efforts aimed at promoting security and peace and ensuring a decent life for people.”

“I appreciate the efforts of the WHO in its active pursuit for this challenge and in taking deliberate and comprehensive steps, mobilizing attention to finding solutions to reduce the impact of this challenge in real time and address it in the future, and I welcome the cooperation that you have with Silatech in the “Working for Health” programme, which aims at achieving about 1.9 million jobs in 2022 in Africa, and which will also contribute to providing workforce for the health sector, it will also provide employment opportunities for young men and women and will drive economic development forward.”

The opening session was followed by a panel discussion that included the CEO of Silatech, Ms. Sabah El-Haidoos, the Director General of the World Health Organization, Dr. Tedros Adhanom Gebreisos, Vice President of the European Investment Bank, Mr. Ambroise Fayol, Mr. Mohamed Ali Pate, Director of the International Finance Unit for Women, Children and Adolescents of the World Bank. Speakers at this session highlighted the importance of promoting education and skills development for young people in the health sector, especially women.

Ms. Sabah El-Haidoos, the CEO of Silatech spoke about the ambitious plans that Silatech has put in place to train and develop young people to help bridge the health worker gap: “It is through Silatech’s operating model of working with a multitude of partners including governments, private sector, NGOs, international multilateral and bilateral organisations, with each partner bringing unique resources, insights and solutions that we’ve been able to create over 1.4 million jobs for youth in 17 countries to date, and we have committed to creating with our partners over 5 million jobs in total by the end of 2022.”

“Working with WHO on the Working for Health Programme was a very organic extension to the work we do. The partnership with the ‘Working for Health’ programme is based on our interest in providing quality training and education to fill the health worker gap and increase the output of qualified doctors, nurses, midwives and other healthcare workers. We are in solidarity with the World Health Organization in supporting the program’s objectives in improving access to quality health and social care services, providing decent employment that is essential to poverty eradication, promoting social cohesion and stability and achieving prosperity.” Ms. Al Haidoos added.

Participants at the event agreed to find creative ways to train health workers and better coordination between all stakeholders.

In this regard, the WHO director general Dr. Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus stressed that the health workforce is an essential key to achieve universal health coverage.

“The current 18 million gap shows that there’s a serious problem which has to be tackled and to address this problem, there has to be solutions including training in big numbers, with quality and retaining them. The training must be provided fast and it should be done in innovative ways.” Ghebreyesus added.

The former president of Liberia H.E Ms. Ellen Johnson Sirleaf echoed Dr. Tedros’s sentiment by adding, “If we do not bridge the 18 million health worker gap, it would mean that we miss out on 18 million opportunities for economic empowerment and dignified employment, and we cannot let this happen”.

Johnson Sirleaf added, “To achieve the commitments of Universal Health Care, it is necessary to invest in health workforce and the primary health care systems that support them. This requires long term innovative financial investments that cover high capital costs. One way to do this is to engage international financial institutions and philanthropic foundations as key partners to co-invest alongside governments in the education and employment of healthcare workers.”

The Norwegian Minister of Health H.E Mr. Bent Høie stressed the urgency of spending on health workforce training as it a key to achieving Universal Health Coverage.

“We have to invest more in health workers and change the narrative. Spending on education and skills of health workers is not a cost, it’s an investment with high returns and a driver for wellbeing and health for all, for gender equality, for growth and decent work. The health sector is increasingly becoming an important entry point for women into the formal labor market. The investment in health and social sector will directly and indirectly lead to improvements in women and children health.”

The high-level side event underscored the fact that spending on the education and skills of the health workforce is an investment with tremendous benefits. These would replicate and go on to help achieve several Sustainable Development Goals, the third goal “good health and well-being”, the fourth goal “quality education”, the fifth goal “gender equality” and the eighth goal “decent work and economic growth.”

Silatech and the United Nations High Commission for Human Rights Agree in Geneva to Develop Initiatives and Programmes for Global Youth Empowerment in Alignment with International Human Rights Treaties and Agreements

The Partnership includes a Joint Initiative to Advocate and Promote
Youth Rights

DOHA, 8 July, 2019

The CEO of Silatech, Ms. Sabah al Haidoos met the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights, Mrs. Michelle Bachelet in Geneva on July 4th and agreed to cooperate in a partnership to develop initiatives and programmes for global youth empowerment in alignment with international human rights treaties and agreements. This partnership is a milestone and the outcome of the strategic meeting that took place between Her Highness Sheikha Moza Bint Nasser (may God protect her), the Founder and Chairperson of Silatech’s Board of Trustees and the High Commissioner for Human Rights on the margins of Silatech’s High Level Forum in Geneva on 4th March, 2019.

The partnership between Silatech and UN High Commission for Human Rights (OHCHR) will promote the rights of young people and focus on their right to decent work and a decent life in alignment with international human rights treaties and agreements.

The proposed areas of partnership between Silatech and the UN High Commission for Human Rights are mainly youth empowerment programmes and programmes and initiatives to advocate for global youth issues.

Commenting on this partnership, Silatech’s CEO, Ms. Sabah Al Haidoos stated; “We are very pleased to have this strategic and valuable partnership with the United Nations High Commission for Human Rights represented by the High Commissioner, Mrs. Michelle Bachelet. In this partnership, we have agreed to take immediate action to make sure that its deliverables are executed promptly and on a timely basis. Firstly, we have introduced an integrated framework and project for the partnership that illustrates the theme, “Youth empowerment in the light of global human rights system”. This framework will highlight the relationship between youth and human rights and promote advocacy programmes and initiatives on broader issues affecting young people”.

“Silatech has suggested we have a joint initiative to promote youth rights in areas of armed conflict and in fragile states. It will help protect those who suffer from discrimination and grave human rights violations. The initiative aims at reforming national laws, strategies and plans that are related to youth” added Al Haidoos.

Silatech has recently been actively involved in establishing strategic partnerships as part of its ongoing pursuit to economically and socially empower youth, and to achieve some of the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals, as well as several the United Nations’ Youth Strategy 2030 priorities. Such partnerships include but are not limited to organisations such as the World Health Organisation, the International Labour Organization, the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development and the United Nations Institute for Training and Research among others.

Al Haidoos discusses ways to apply SDGs and empower youth with the UN SG envoy on youth Jayathma Wickramanayake

Silatech CEO, Ms. Sabah Al Haidoos had a meeting today with the UN Secretary-General’s Envoy on Youth Ms. Jayathma Wickramanayake.
The meeting discussed venues of cooperation in the field of social and economic youth empowerment. The discussion included ways of collaboration to apply the SDGs and the UN Youth Strategy 2030 locally.
During her visit, Ms. Jayathma had a meeting with some of Silatech’s youth who volunteer to promote Silatech’s mission and have participated in a fundraising campaign to help youth refugees.

They explained their role in the concept behind the 30x30x30 fund raising competition campaign which was led by 30 of Qatar’s Youth, Competing to Create Jobs for 30K Young Refugees X Within 30 Days. They emphasized that the most significant challenges accompanying the refugee crisis is the increasing number of youths without access to education and employment opportunities, contributing to grim living circumstances in camps and host countries. They emphasized that goal was to mobilize funding that enables Silatech to generate jobs and a decent life for refugees and their families to help alleviate their suffering and to lend a helping hand to host countries.
Ms. Jayathma affirmed that “only through solidarity, we can empower young people, achieve sustainable development goals, and tackle some of the biggest challenges in the #world right now”.
Silatech is working to fulfill some of the sustainable development goals and is active in 17 countries in Africa and the Middle East, with a goal to promote gender equality by supporting youth of both genders, employing new and innovative tools and programs to empower young men and women. To realize its mission, Silatech works in collaboration with over 300+ International, regional and national partners from all sectors.

Silatech partakes in the UN Day celebrated in Qatar

Silatech participated in the UN Day held at Qatar national Library on Dec. 13th 2018,  at the invitation of Dr. Ahmed Al Meraikhy the United Nations Secretary-General’s Humanitarian Envoy  as part of the efforts to raise awareness of the Sustainable Development Goals- SDG plan 2030 and the Action Plan for Humanity.
Silatechhas strategic partnerships with many UNagencies as part of its ongoing effort to pursue a number of SDGssuch as eradicating poverty, promoting sustainable economic growth, employment and decent work as well as empowering women and genderequality.