Barcelona, 14 July 2022. As part of its regional response to the COVID-19 pandemic, the UfM launched a Grant Scheme for Employment Promotion in 2020 aiming at improving the employment situation particularly those from the Southern and Eastern Mediterranean countries. To showcase the work done and the lessons learned by the awarded projects, the Closing Ceremony of the UfM Grant Scheme for Employment Promotion was organized at the Union for the Mediterranean headquarters in Barcelona on the 14th of July 2022, bringing together multiple stakeholders and partners from both shores of the Mediterranean.
The first edition of grant scheme, supported by the German Development Cooperation, reflected the Union for the Mediterranean’s determination to respond to the economic crisis on regional, national, and local levels, by improving the citizens’ employment situation as well as the business environment for entrepreneurs and MSMEs.
The closing ceremony saw speeches of Emmanuelle Roure, team leader at DG Employment of the European Commission; Regine Qualmann, Head of Division for North Africa at the European Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ); María Helena de Felipe Lehtonen, President of the Federation of Mediterranean Businesswomen Associations (AFAEME) and Nasser Kamel, UfM Secretary General. They all highlighted the need to support and promoting growth MSMEs in the Euro-Mediterranean Region, with a special focus on youth and women-led businesses.
Representatives of the 4 projects
namely FLOWER (Fostering Local Market Opportunities for Women’s Empowerment and Resilience); MAST (Mediterranean Alliance for Sustainable Tourism post COVID-19), RISE (Resilience and Innovation through Strengthened Entrepreneurship), SEARChED (Strengthening Employment and entrepreneurial Activities to Recover COVID-19 Epidemic Damages) also presented key results and lessons learned of their projects, which in total benefitted 18K in Greece, Italy, Jordan, Lebanon, Malta, Morocco and Tunisia, mostly women, young people, social enterprises and MSMEs.