BY SYDNEY KAWADZA/SILAS NKALA
The United States Agency for International Development (USAid) has availed about US$2m to the International Organisation for Migration (IOM) towards livelihood support for vulnerable and disaster-prone communities in Zimbabwe.
Funded to the tune of US$1 993 499, the project will run until November next year, according to a joint statement by USAid and IOM released on Wednesday.
The project will provide psychosocial support and income-generating activities that will reintegrate and build resilience for internally displaced persons (IDPs) and returnees as well as assist host communities in Masvingo, Manicaland and Matabeleland South provinces.
“This support is in addition to the USAID-supported project in Manicaland already providing transitional shelter and camp coordination and camp management assistance for Cyclone Idai survivors,” IOM said.
According to IOM’s Displacement Tracking Matrix (DTM) baseline assessments from February 2021, approximately 152 000 people in Zimbabwe were affected by protracted crises, including drought, food insecurity, limited employment opportunities and the socio-economic impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic.
“Over 300 000 Zimbabweans have returned to the country due to the pandemic. Insufficient solutions and resources have resulted in long-term displacements and reinforced the need for the additional emergency response to address basic household needs,” the UN agency said.
The project will support 3 600 vulnerable households (15 480 individuals), including IDPs, returnees, and host communities.
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The project will address protection challenges by strengthening the dissemination of information, counselling and referral services (ICRS) that will provide socio-economic revitalisation assistance through income-generating activities.
IOM will use information management and assessments from their DTM to direct assistance and economic reintegration to the affected IDPs and migrant returnees through livelihood support packages that include skills training, tutoring, and the development of income-generating activities.
Furthermore, 285 000 individuals will receive early warning and disaster risk information for their areas that help them make informed decisions and plan how they can reduce the impact of impending disasters.
IOM Zimbabwe chief of mission Mario Lito Malanca welcomed the support from USAID and said: “Addressing the vulnerabilities of migrant returnees and displaced populations is not only a protection concern, but also a matter of policy coherence and good governance.
“Leaving IDPs and migrants in continued deprivation, without the prospect of a durable solution, is both a humanitarian concern as well as an obstacle to long-term peace, recovery, and reconstruction”.
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