March 22, 2023

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Closing Ceremony of the UfM Grants Program for Promoting Employment: Regional Response to the Covid-19 Pandemic

As part of its regional response strategy to the COVID-19 pandemic, the UfM has launched the 2020 Employment Promotion Grant Program, specifically aimed at improving employment conditions in countries south and east of the Mediterranean. The closing ceremony of the UfM grants program for the promotion of employability was organized on 14 July 2022 at the headquarters of the Union for the Mediterranean in Barcelona to present the work carried out and the lessons learned from the projects delivered. Partners and shareholders from both shores of the Mediterranean.

The first edition of the grant program, supported by the German Development Cooperation, reflects the commitment of the Union for the Mediterranean to respond to the economic crisis at regional, national and local levels, improving the working conditions of citizens and the business environment. Entrepreneurs and VSEs-SMEs.

The closing ceremony was marked by speeches from Emmanuelle Roure, Head of the European Commission’s DG Employment Committee; Regine Qualmann, Head of Division for North Africa at Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ); Maria Helena de Felipe Lehtonen, Federation of Mediterranean Business Women (AFAEME) and Nasser Kamal, Secretary General of the UfM. They all emphasized supporting and encouraging the development of VSEs-SMEs in the Euro-Mediterranean region, with a focus on youth and women-led businesses.

Representatives of 4 projects, namely FLOWER (developing local market opportunities that strengthen women’s resilience and leadership); AMDT (Mediterranean Alliance for Sustainable Tourism after the COVID-19 Pandemic), RISE (Resilience and Innovation through Strengthening Entrepreneurship), SEARCHED (Strengthening Employment and Entrepreneurship to Recover from the Damage of the Covid-19 Pandemic) also delivered key results. The subjects of their projects benefited a total of 18,000 people: women, youth, social enterprises and VSE-SMEs in Greece, Italy, Jordan, Lebanon, Malta, Morocco and Tunisia.