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Palestinian Youth Depressed, Insecure and Increasingly Identify with Islam

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    United Nations Development Programme Programme of Assistance to the Palestinian People 4A Yakubi St., Jerusalem, 91191, P.O. Box: 51359 Tel: (972 2) 626 8200
    Message 1 of 1 , Apr 1, 2009
      United Nations Development Programme
      Programme of Assistance to the Palestinian People
      4A Yakubi St., Jerusalem, 91191,
      P.O. Box: 51359 Tel: (972 2) 626 8200 Fax: (972 2) 626 8222

      Press Release

      Palestinian Youth Depressed, Insecure and Increasingly Identify with Islam

      Jerusalem, March 31, 2009 - More than 80 percent of young Palestinians are
      depressed and 47 percent identify themselves as Muslim rather than
      Palestinian, according to a United Nations Development Programme report
      presented today.

      The report, based on interviews with 1,200 Palestinians over the age of 17
      from the West Bank and Gaza found that 39 percent were "extremely" depressed
      and 42 percent were depressed by their conditions. Depression was more
      marked in the Gaza Strip where 55 percent said they were "extremely"

      When asked to define their identity, 47 percent identified themselves as
      Muslims, 28 percent as Palestinians, 14 percent as humans and 10 percent as
      The survey also revealed that the majority of Palestinian youth (69
      percent) believe that the use of violence as a means to resolve the conflict
      in not very helpful, while only 8 percent believe it is an important tool.

      The survey of attitudes of Palestinian youth was part of a report, "The
      Mapping of Youth Organizations" commissioned by the United Nations
      Development Programme and presented to a workshop designed to plan a
      strategy for youth development for the Palestinian Authority.

      Youth are exceptionally vulnerable to conflict and unemployment rates for
      youth range from 35 percent in the West Bank to 51 percent in Gaza. UNDP
      commissioned the survey to understand the needs and expectations of youth
      organizations, levels of intervention, gaps to be filled, and set youth
      policies and strategies relevant to the needs of the Palestinian society and
      adopted by both the public and private sectors.

      The results of the survey were launched during a workshop held on March 31,
      2009 at Sharek Youth Forum in Ramallah. The workshop was attended by H.E.
      Tahani Abu Daqqa, Minister of Youth and Sports, Mr. Jens Toyberg-Frandzen,
      Special Representative of the Administrator, Mr. Nasfat Khofash, President
      of Palestinian National Institute of NGOs, and Mr. Bader Zamareh, Executive
      Director of Sharek Youth Forum.

      Over 85 percent of the mapped organizations (540 in the West Bank and Gaza
      Strip) have accreditation from the Palestinian Authority, be it the Ministry
      of Interior (70 percent), Ministry of Youth and Sports (13 percent),
      Ministry of Culture (2 percent) or others.

      More than half of the mapped organizations are civil society organizations
      and NGO's with programmes targeting youth, while only 22 percent identified
      themselves as youth organizations. 41 percent out of these youth
      organizations have problems with funding, as opposed to 33 percent from
      civil society organizations.

      "Young people are exceptionally vulnerable in a conflict situation. They
      are more likely to be injured, arrested or sucked into harmful situations,"
      said Jens Toyberg-Frandzen, Special Representative for UNDP's Programme of
      Assistance to the Palestinian People.

      "At UNDP we have always understood that you cannot develop an economy or a
      nation without developing its youth, particularly when the economic and
      political environment appears to offer limited hope. The findings of this
      survey will help us understand what needs to be done to make the most of
      young Palestinians."
      For further information, please contact:

      In Jerusalem: Dania Darwish, Communications Officer, Tel. +972-2-6268229 -
      e-mail: dania.darwish@..., Conal Urquhart, External Relations Advisor,
      Tel. +972-2-6268200 - e-mail: conal.urquhart@...

      In New York: Sausan Ghosheh, Communications officer, e-mail:
      sausan.ghosheh@... or undpnewsroom@ undp.org, Tel. +1 212-906-5382

      UNDP is the UN's global development network, advocating for change and
      connecting countries to knowledge, experience and resources to help people
      build a better life. We are on the ground in 166 countries, working with
      them on their own solutions to global and national development challenges.
      As they develop local capacity, they draw on the people of UNDP and our wide
      range of partners.
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