Khartoum, Sudan - The International Organization for Migration (IOM) has signed an agreement with the UN Development Programme (UNDP) to help hundreds of highly-qualified Chadians living in France return home and help their communities back home.
"Under this agreement, IOM will implement a nine-month project aimed at facilitating the return to Chad of highly-qualified Chadian currently living in France," IOM said in a press statement, received by PANA here Friday.
It said some US$ 350,000 will be used to pay for their air passages from France to Chad, salaries, decent accommodation, transport and insurance for some 250 highly-qualified Chadians working in the fields of medicine and higher education.
“This is a great opportunity for Chadians in France to contribute to the development of their country. We are starting immediately with 15 individuals who are ready to go. However, our aim is to extend this opportunity to all countries where there is a significant presence of qualified Chadians nationals, including the US, UK, Saudi Arabia, United Arab Emirate and Egypt," the press statement quoted Qasim Sufi, the IOM Chief of Mission to Chad, as saying.
"I am assuring donors who share our vision of assisting the development of Chad through its sons and daughters that the IOM and UNDP will work hand in hand to make this programme a great success,” Sufi added.
The project was initiated following a request by Chad for assistance to support the development priorities of the government by bringing home qualified citizens to participate in the socio-economic development of the country.
The statement stressed that high on the agenda is the health sector, which lacks specialists in urban areas and trained primary health care professionals in rural areas.
Another target sector is higher education, where staff for technical institutions and universities are inadequate.
The 250 beneficiaries will be expected to spend up to six months in Chad working as doctors, nurses, teachers or trainers in various government institutions and projects.
"Those who will choose to remain will be offered fixed term contracts." IOM stressed.
In addition to the UNDP, IOM is teaming up with various government ministries in Chad and the Association of the Chadian Diaspora in France (GEST) in the implementation of the project.
Chad is one of several African countries badly affected by brain drain following long periods of instability and conflicts.
Many Chadians have migrated to Saudi Arabia, UAE, Kuwait, Egypt, Syria and Lebanon and in Europe, France is the preferred destination