Afghanistan: Returning Afghan experts join national reconstruction effort

The first three Afghan experts were recruited from EU countries under the Professional Afghan Expatriate Programme - EU (PAEP-EU) for placement into senior public sector jobs in Kabul this week.

The three will serve as Senior Advisor at the Ministry of Counter Narcotics; Communications Officer for the Afghan National Development Strategy; and Management and Cooperative Advisor at the Ministry of Agriculture and Irrigation, respectively.

The PAEP-EU programme is administered by IOM in close coordination with the Afghan Independent Administrative Reform and Civil Service Commission (IARCSC) and funded by the European Commission.

Its objective is to contribute to the long-term stability and development of the country through the deployment of 17 highly qualified Afghan expatriates living in EU member states who will share their skills and expertise in various ministries and public institutions during their assignments of up to one year in Afghanistan.

Communications Officer Hamed Ahmad Eqbal is an established journalist with years of professional experience in the UK. "Journalism in Afghanistan is still at the preliminary stage. I would like to establish a code of conduct for reporters, enrich the quality of broadcasting and thus ultimately contribute to the development of our country," he says.

The programme tries to bring in expertise that Afghan ministries and other public institutions need but which cannot be sourced locally.

The PAEP-EU builds on the achievements of IOM's earlier EU-Return of Qualified Afghans programme which facilitated the progressive transfer of knowledge of 150 Afghan expatriate professionals from nine EU countries during 2003 - 2005.

Additional PAEP-EU candidates will be identified and confirmed by the end of May.

For further information, please visit or contact Althea Rivas. IOM Kabul, Tel + 93 (0) 700 486 728, email or Katsui Kaya, Tel. +93 (0) 700 185 961, email