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IFAD's 2019 Rural Development Report

28 June 2019


Nearly 1 billion of the world’s 1.2 billion youth aged 15-24 reside in developing countries. Their numbers are growing far more rapidly in lower income countries than in higher income countries, particularly in rural areas. In fact, rural youth make up around half of all youth in developing countries.

The growing youth population has enormous potential. Investing in young people can yield boundless results in terms of poverty reduction, employment generation and food and nutrition security. After all, they are the farmers, workers and entrepreneurs of tomorrow. Their energy and dynamism is needed to transform food systems and rural areas. They have the potential to help feed the world and thus solve one of the biggest global challenges. These young women and men are key to achieving the Sustainable Development Goals by 2030 and indeed, to our planet’s future.

But there are obstacles and challenges in their way. Young people are approximately three times more likely than adults to be unemployed. About 150 million young workers are among the working poor; and every year 14 million young Africans alone are expected to enter the job market – and the majority live in remote communities.

Explore the Rural Development Report 2019 – Creating opportunities for rural youth