Somali Diaspora Helps Rehabilitate Northern Somalia's Health Sector

Medical doctors, nurses, health administrators, and other
health-related professionals of the Somali diaspora living in
Finland will now be able to share the knowledge and skills acquired
while working within the Finnish health system with their fellow
compatriots in Northern Somalia.

IOM Helsinki, with support from the Finnish Ministry for Foreign
Affairs, this week launched the first Migration and Development for
Africa (MIDA) pilot project in Somalia. 

The project, which proposes the temporary return of up to 22
qualified and highly qualified Somali nationals resident in
Finland, seeks to strengthen the capacities of local health
professionals in Northern Somalia through the transfer of skills
and knowledge.

"This new project is underlining both Finland's long-lasting
relationship with Somalia through the involvement of the Somali
diaspora in rehabilitating the health sector back home as well as
IOM's commitment to create linkages between migration and
development," explained Thomas Weiss, IOM's Regional Representative
for the Nordic and Baltic States.

Initially, the IOM MIDA Health Northern Somalia pilot project
will work with local authorities, medical institutions, NGOs and
institutes of higher learning to assess the main human resource
gaps in Northern Somalia's health sector. 

Based on the findings of the initial assessment, the project
will match identified human resource needs with skills and
competences available within the Finnish-based Somali diaspora.

In order to guarantee the sustainability of the project, special
emphasis will be placed on capacity building for local health
professionals and students who will ultimately remain in Northern
Somalia providing health services to the population.

Since the late 1980s Finland is among the most important
providers of aid to Somalia.  Today, with a population of over
9,000 persons of Somali descent, the Somali diaspora is the largest
non-European ethnic minority in Finland.  Through a wide
network of civil and community-based organizations, and supported
by the Finnish Government and Finnish NGOs, Somalis residing in
Finland have proactively pursued means to provide assistance in
alleviating their country of origin's current humanitarian

For further information, please contact:

Saed Guled

IOM Helsinki

Tel: +358 9 684 11 50

E-mail: "">


Adrienne Testa

IOM Hargeisa

Tel: + 252 2 412 9675

E-mail: "">