Nairobi- Kenya (PANA) -- The United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) Wednesday launched its first project to facilitate the transfer of Diaspora expertise to Somalia.
Qualified Expatriate Somali Technical Support (QUESTS) is a modified version of the UNDP global initiative Transfer of Knowledge Through Expatriate Nationals (TOKTEN), which encourages expatriate nationals to volunteer their expertise in the service of their homelands for short periods of time.
QUESTS will initially focus on priority sectors identified by the Somali authorities and local and international humanitarian organisations, which are health, education and agriculture.
The project will engage Somali institutions operating in these sectors by encouraging them to identify immediate, short-term capacity needs and Diaspora professionals to fulfil them.
By supporting up to 15 institutions annually to bring interested Diaspora professionals to Somalia on a voluntary basis, UNDP hopes to address the reversal of brain drain, support lasting peace in Somalia and increased the Somali Diaspora participation in creating an environment for sustainable human development.
"We encourage professionals in the Diaspora to contact local hospitals, clinics, schools, universities and other facilities operating in their sector of expertise," says Maxwell Gaylard, UNDP Somalia Resident Representative.
"By communicating directly with the institutions and assisting them in identifying needs and how you can assist, we can improve the standard of living of ordinary Somalis, and create a unified effort and revitalised spirit needed to rebuild Somalia," he noted.
QUESTS will be executed by UNDP-Somalia Governance and Financial Services Programme, which focuses on building of capacity for human development and financial services.