European Union provides EUR 1 million (US$1.09m) to support IOM Zimbabwe

The European Union has released EUR 1 million (US$1.09m) to the International Organization for Migration (IOM) to enhance the monitoring of migration flows at some of Zimbabwe’s busiest borders and along the routes that migrants travel. This will help to improve migration management and inform preparedness plans in urban areas. Zimbabwe has significant movements of people and goods across its borders and often through irregular border crossings. This has an impact on the health of the people moving across the borders and the host communities. Zimbabwean urban centres also host both internal migrants and Zimbabwean returnees, posing unique challenges for the health system.

In this 24 -month project, IOM will work within border communities, and in areas where migrants congregate at different stages of their migration journeys. The project involves the collection and analysis of migration data to provide a more comprehensive picture of the demographics, needs and vulnerabilities of migrants. This data will inform government and development partners on the actions required to detect, prevent, and respond to public health threats that affect migrants in mainly urban areas and to ensure that migrants have access to basic health services.

IOM has been working over the last two years to strengthen capacities of front-line workers at four points of entry (PoEs) – Beitbridge, Plumtree, Chirundu and Forbes -- to respond adequately to migrant needs, including post-arrival assistance, health, and protection assistance. IOM will maintain protection assistance through counselling and referral services and will build on existing partnerships to provide government with the necessary technical assistance to craft contingency plans and Standard Operating Procedures (SOP) at PoEs and along the routes that migrants travel. In the light of the recent COVID-19 pandemic and the disruption caused to regular border flows, this project aims at enhancing Zimbabwe’s capacity to prevent, detect, and if necessary, respond to epidemics in Zimbabwe. The project will endeavor to provide basic health care to over 15.000 migrant returnees and other mobile populations in Beitbridge, Masvingo, Bulawayo, Hurungwe and Harare. This project will promote the health of urban citizens as well as mobile and migrant populations by raising the awareness of the government services to the needs of migrants during a community health crisis.

Speaking ahead of the project’s inception, IOM Zimbabwe Chief of Mission, Mario Lito Malanca acknowledged the EU for their continued partnership with IOM across various projects over the last few years. ‘It is heartening that the EU recognises the complex nature of mobility dynamics, particularly as they pertain to health systems. This partnership will make a massive contribution to the strengthening of health systems through evidence-based epidemic preparedness and response,’ Mr. Malanca said.



For more information contact Fadzai (Penny) Nyamande-Pangeti +263787868608