GENEVA, Switzerland, September 24, 2013/African Press Organization (APO)/ — UNDP has allocated an additional USD 150,000 to the pilot phase of an IOM-UNDP-Government of Chad joint project: “Strengthening Public Health and Higher Education Sectors Services in Chad through Mobilization of the Chadian Diaspora in France”.

The funding will bring the project budget to USD 450,000 and allow the return of ten more qualified Chadians in the health and higher education sectors before the end of the year.

The project is a response to the Chadian government’s wish to engage the diaspora in the country’s development.

To date, the project has facilitated the return of 14 qualified Chadians living in France. These included an anesthesiologist, a gastroenterologist, an orthopedic surgeon, a digestive cancer specialist, a biomedical engineer and a research engineer.

The short-term objectives of the project are to provide specialized medical services at referral medical facilities, and to build the capacity of university students in the country. In the long term, the goal is to develop a project that covers other host countries, in addition to France.

The pilot phase of the project also includes the organization of a national workshop on migration and development to be held today and tomorrow (24 and 25 September) in N’Djamena, targeting government, hospital and university officials, as well as the Chadian diaspora in France.

In the longer term, and in close coordination with the Chadian government, IOM-UNDP project managers hope to develop a multi-year, USD 3,000,000 project, with the support of the government and other key stakeholders, including the African Development Bank (ADB), the World Bank (WB) and other potential donors. The project will aim to facilitate the return of over 100 qualified nationals, either temporarily or permanently.