Poverty and unemployment drives Somalis to migration or terrorism

Poverty and unemployment drives Somalis to migration or terrorism

Poverty and unemployment drives Somalis to migration or terrorism

There’s a stark choice for the youth of Somalia between poverty, becoming involved with crime or terrorism or migrating to try and find work overseas.

According to a recently-released United Nations, the unemployment rate for Somalis between the ages of 14 and 29 is 61 per cent for men and 74 per cent for women. The report also states than only 40 per cent of those unemployed are actively seeking jobs, with the remainder prey to recruitment by criminal gangs and pirate groups.

The UN’s Somalia Human Development Report 2012 shockingly states that 82 per cent of the population is poverty-stricken, with 73 per cent struggling to exist on less than $2 a day. Somalis under 30 form the bulk of the population, with 66 per cent desperate to leave by any means to escape poverty and deprivation.

The Arab Gulf countries and Yemen are favourite destinations, although a high number of Somalis are opting to take the dangerous route to Europe through Libya, the Sudan and across the Mediterranean. In an interviews with Sabahi, University of Somalia sociologist Abdullah Mohamed said the would-be migrants know the dangers of illegal immigration but think the risks are worth it to improve their lives.

Deputy director of the Somali Youth Association Osman Moalim Ibrahim states that poverty is the driving force behind the despair and resulting violent tendencies of the country’s young people. He adds that the pirate gangs and criminal groups are mostly composed of young Somalis who have given up the struggle to find work and better themselves.

Abdirahman Ahmed, a graduate of the university, says that he’s been unemployed since his graduation in 2011, and has given up trying to find work in his own country. His goal is emigration to Europe, using money he has saved during his student years, and believes there will be more opportunities for him overseas.

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