The project “SEARChED – Strengthening Employment and entrepreneurial Activities to Recover COVID-19 Epidemic Damages” is implemented by ICU with the financial support of UfMS (the Secretariat of the Union for the Mediterranean) and GIZ (Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit GmbH), on behalf of the Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development of Germany (BMZ).
The SEARChED project aims to play a part in addressing the current and expected socio-economic impact that the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic has on the UfM region through a multisectoral approach in three different MENA countries; Tunisia, Lebanon and Jordan. It intends to tackle regional challenges in the targeted countries with local solutions that can be continued beyond the duration of this project, and that will contribute to the resilience of the local populations, both from a social and economic point of view.
Specifically, the specific objective of the project is to improve the business environment taking into account the COVID-19 pandemic, by promoting capacity building and training programmes for unemployed people, and by developing resources and services for MSMEs, focusing on agri-food and energy efficiency sectors, in Lebanon, Tunisia and Jordan to enable income generation and job creation.
Agricultural and Energy Efficiency sectors are considered to be fundamental to enhance the resilience of the targeted countries to the impacts of climate change, water scarcity, food insecurity, and migration; topics that have been exasperated by the current global pandemic that affects deeply the most vulnerable groups of the population, which is also the least able to cope.
The project focuses on two types of intervention/strategies centered on two different target groups that lead to identify 2 main activity clusters:
1) training, capacity building and coaching programmes for vulnerable and unemployed people to strength their skills/capabilities to enhance their job and economic opportunities;
2) activities to develop resources, services and sustainable solutions for MSMEs to enable income generation and job creation, focusing on agriculture and energy efficiency sectors according to the specific needs of the countries involved.
The overall objective is to contribute to mitigate the socio-economic impact of the COVID-19 pandemic in Lebanon, Tunisia and Jordan. There will be a specific focus on including women and youth.
Target groups of this intervention are: Local technical Institutions in the agro-food sector (Tunisia and Jordan); 81 youth who are graduated/or have a diploma/or are enrolled in relevant postgraduate courses and 40 youth coming from rural areas/ farmers in Tunisia and Jordan (< 35 years old); 200 MSMEs and/or Associations of MSMEs (of which 60 belongs to women) working in the agro-food sector in Tunisia; 35 SMEs and 50 ESCOs in Lebanon.
- Unemployed people in Tunisia and Jordan, have the skills to create and manage new businesses in the agro-food sector.
- MSMEs in Tunisia, Lebanon and Jordan, in the sectors of agriculture and energy efficiency, are more efficient and effective in their markets.
For more information visit the project page on the UfM website: SEARChED – Strengthening Employment and entrepreneurial Activities to Recover COVID-19 Epidemic Damages – Union for the Mediterranean – UfM (ufmsecretariat.org)