By John Lee.
Iraq has allocated 100 billion Iraqi dinars ($86 million) for a project that aims to bring skilled expatriates back to Iraq in 2013, reports Mawtani.
The Ministry of Migration and the Displaced announced last week that these skilled Iraqis will receive housing and work opportunities upon their return home.
Sameer Nahi, the ministry's technical deputy, said the project represents the second phase of a campaign announced last year that seeks to benefit from expatriate expertise in rebuilding the country.
Project actions also include supporting Iraqi researchers and students working on master's theses or doctorate dissertations in foreign countries with funds so they can complete their studies and research before they return to Iraq.
The ministry "will post leaflets at Iraqi embassies all over the world showing skilled expatriates how much their country needs them", Nahi said.
In the first phase of the campaign, 2,430 doctors, engineers, university professors, academic researchers, experts, authors, artists, religious leaders and tribal chiefs are reported to have returned to Iraq.
"The government provided them with free housing and jobs in line with their specialties, and helped ease the return of their wives and children to work and school," Nahi said.
Last year, the government was forced to hire anaesthesia doctors from abroad to work at state hospitals at a cost of more than 7 billion dinars ($6 million), at a time when there are Iraqi anaesthesia doctors abroad who could return and work in the country again, Deputy Prime Minister Saleh al-Mutlaq told Mawtani.