January 14, 2014

Many young people across Southeast Europe face an array of challenges as they move into adulthood.

Across the region, unemployment is high. In Bosnia and Herzegovina, the youth unemployment rate stands at 58 percent, which is four times the EU average.

To help in the transition to adulthood, the World Bank and the Italian Directorate-General for Development Cooperation created the Social Development Initiative for Southeast Europe II. The initiative ran from 2007 to 2013; its goal was to help young people in the region move towards jobs and stability.

In Bosnia and Herzegovina, a small grants program in the region promoted employment, and social and volunteer opportunities for young people. Over 1,600 young people provided over 29,000 hours of volunteer activity. The initiative also promoted acceptance and opportunities for youth with disabilities, including a public service video and a conference, which brought experts together from the region.