Since inception in 2004, the INJAZ network has provided workforce readiness skills, entrepreneurship training, and financial literacy to more than three million MENA youth in 14 countries stretching from Morocco to Pakistan. Although we are proud of our accomplishments, we are keenly aware of the magnitude of the challenges facing young people in the region. According to the most recent data, the Middle East and North Africa is the second youngest region in the world, with more than 60% of the population under the age of 30. Youth unemployment remains critical, in some countries reaching as high as 35%. Likewise, current estimates suggest that 100 million jobs will need to be created by the year 2022 in order to meet the regional employment shortfall.
We are confident that we can rise to meet these daunting challenges, but it will require us to move forward swiftly and deliberately. To this end, we will remain steadfast in our commitment to enhance our impact. With respect to quantitative impact, we will continue to pursue the One Million Campaign, our ambitious goal to serve one million MENA youth per year by 2022, and I am pleased to say that we have set a new record, reaching nearly 350,000 youth during the 2017-2018 academic year. With respect to qualitative impact, we are grateful to our knowledge partners; Deloitte, Hill + Knowlton Strategies, McKinsey & Company, and Oliver Wyman, all of whom continue to provide immeasurably valuable operational and strategic guidance. This year, we also hosted our largest ever Annual MENA Training (AMT) event, with representatives from all 14 INJAZ member nations, the JA global network, as well as numerous other stakeholders convening in Amman for two days of intensive sessions and activities, all aimed at enhancing the quality of INJAZ program delivery and impact.
As we continue in our efforts to empower a new generations of MENA youth, I would like to extend my gratitude to JA Worldwide; the power of the global network enables us to streamline our efforts and further focus our attention on our mandate. Moreover, I wish to express my enduring appreciation for all of our stakeholders, to the other members of the regional and local boards, our corporate sponsors, institutional partners, volunteers, and dedicated staff: thank you for your steadfast commitment to the organization. To put it simply, we owe our success to your support, and we will continue to rely on you as we move forward with our critical mission.
Last but not least, thank you INJAZ Al-Arab team, your commitment and dedication, your love to this organization is what keeps us all going in great faith and passion.