VCCI General Manager Astrid Boulekone welcomed 24 young entrepreneurial delegates from across the Pacific on Tuesday 12th November at VCCI to talk about the Chamber’s experiences in the immediate aftermath of tropical Cyclone Pam in 2015.
The group was here in Port Vila for the ILO supported ‘Strengthening capacities of Employers’ and Workers’ Organizations on Promotion of Youth Employment in Disaster and Conflict Settings’ workshop that ran from 11th – 15th November 2019 at the Grand Hotel.
The 2018 World Risk Report places the pacific region as the most at risk to disasters and places five (5) pacific countries among the top 20 that are globally most at risk to disasters. Due to the fragility of the pacific small islands developing states (SIDS), it is critical that pacific populations, including ILO social partners are resilient to the impacts of climate change and climate induced disasters.
Across the Pacific Islands, 24.7% of employment is classified as vulnerable employment, with some national vulnerable employment rates reaching as high as 75%. The poorest and most vulnerable, are youth, women and persons with disabilities and least able to recover from job and income losses. The recent category 5 cyclones in Vanuatu (2015) and Fiji (2016) resulted in lost working days of 500,000 and 14 million respectively and lost income of U$15 million and U$176 million respectively. The total effect (damage and loss) to the commerce/SME sector was U$31 million and U$71 million respectively.
The objective of the workshop was to strengthen the capacities of Youth Chapters of Employers’ and Workers’ Organizations to develop strategies for and support policy responses of their organisations to increasing extreme climatic events and conflicts that impact youth employment.
The specific outputs included:
- enhanced knowledge of ILO’s programmes on Just Transition and Jobs for Peace & Resilience;
- understanding of the impact of disasters and conflict on employment in the pacific and past recovery/response strategies and
- development of regional and national strategies on promoting youth employment.
Countries represented at the workshop included Fiji, Kiribati, Samoa, Vanuatu, Tonga, Cook Islands, and the Solomon Islands.