Promoting Confidence in Afghanistan’s Future

Date Published: 
Monday, December 16, 2013

Alongside the Afghan Ministry of Refugees and Repatriation (MoRR), the International Organization for Migration (IOM) is jointly commemorating International Migrants’ Day under the theme of "Migration, Development and Confidence in Afghanistan’s Future", looking forward to the period of transition in 2014.

Following the Tokyo Conference in 2001 and the country’s appeal for international assistance to encourage qualified Afghans living abroad to take part in the reconstruction process, IOM started the “Return of Qualified Afghans” (RQA) programme in December 2001. The aim of this programme was to maximize the contribution of Afghan expatriates living outside the country to the development of Afghanistan. Since the programme started, 31 countries have assisted IOM in the return of a total of 1,663 Afghan experts, of which 220 are female. Returned experts have been placed placed in over 130 Government Ministries and Institutions, NGOs, international and other organizations including the private sector, in 28 provinces throughout the country.

We are celebrating International Migrants’ day while we still have more than 5.5 million Afghans living in various countries abroad as refugees and migrants. Despite difficulties which still exist for some residents in the country, we should not forget that in the past twelve years the Government of the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan, in collaboration with the international community, has provided better developmental opportunities for the bright and inclusive future of the Afghan nation, says Dr. Jamaher Anawari, Afghan Minister of Refugees and Repatriation at a function in Kabul.

While migration is becoming an increasingly important theme in achieving development objectives, perhaps nowhere is this more important than in Afghanistan today, noted Richard Danziger, IOM Chief of Mission and Special Envoy for Afghanistan. "The migration choices that Afghans are and will be making over the coming months can play a major role in building confidence in the country. An exodus of Afghans, particularly those who are highly skilled, would be a psychological blow. Conversely those Afghans currently living abroad can play an increasingly important role in the development of their country as the presence of the international community decreases."

Speakers agreed that it vital that government, business and civil society pull together to create an environment in which young Afghans are ready to remain and work for the country’s future, and that Afghans abroad contribute to their country of origin through the transfer of skills as well as remittances.

There are lots of business and education opportunities in Afghanistan. To achieve this, the Government and the private sector have to work together to create a positive business and investment environment and job opportunities for our young people, and to encourage an educated and skilled workforce not to leave the country, said Mohammad Qurban Haqjo, Chief Executive Officer of the Afghan Chamber of Commerce and Industries (ACCI).

For more information please contact Richard Danziger, Chief of Mission, IOM Afghanistan, Email: rdanziger@iom.int