33 000 migrants set to benefit from ECHO project

Chris Mahove

About 33 000 Zimbabwean migrants returning to the country are set to benefit from the European Civil Protection and Humanitarian Aid Operations (ECHO)’s Mobility Monitoring and Border Coordination project.

In a statement, the International Organisation on Migration (IOM) Zimbabwe, said it would be funded by ECHO, the European Commission’s humanitarian arm, over 12 months to strengthen protection services and post-arrival assistance to migrants and Flow Monitoring (FM) activities at Points of Entry (PoEs), border communities, and congregation points.

This, the IOM said, would be done through collection of data and analysis on migration trends for a more comprehensive understanding of mobility dynamics.

“This project’s activities are set to reach 33,000 beneficiaries who are migrant returnees or mobile populations and will involve IOM continuing to support the response at Zimbabwe’s main border posts: Beitbridge, Plumtree, Forbes and Chirundu,” the IOM said.

The organisation said activities would also take place at inland mobility corridors that include  Masvingo, Bulawayo, Chimanimani, Mutasa, Chipinge, Kariba and Karoi where it has presence.

“The project will be implemented in coordination and partnership with the Government of Zimbabwe, particularly the Ministries of Home Affairs and Cultural Heritage and Public Service Labour and Social Welfare and other relevant line-ministries to meet the basic needs of returned migrants,”

The IOM said it would data collection activities to identify and prioritize areas with limited capacities for emergency preparedness and response and produce regular updates, national flow monitoring monthly datasets, maps, and dashboards to be disseminated to government, CSOs, and the humanitarian/development community.

It said the collected data would be used in the production of a Migration Profile for Zimbabwe, which it said was a much needed and up to date repository of migration information, and would be done  in collaboration with the Zimbabwe National Statistical Agency (ZIMSTAT).

“Under this project IOM will continue to support returnees who have faced adversity during migration with Information Counselling and Referral Services (ICRS) taking into regard the gender, age, and disability dimensions of mental health,” the IOM said.

It said the project was a a follow up to the work it has been doing over the years, collecting data on flows of people across Southern Africa.

“Through its Displacement Tracking Matrix (DTM) tools, IOM has been actively working with national and local authorities in order to gain a better understanding of population movements in the country and in the region. Quantifying migration and mobility patterns is essential for the development of adequate migration policies, disaster preparedness and humanitarian programming,” it said.

IOM Zimbabwe Chief of Mission Mario Lito Malanca, speaking at the project inception in Harare last week, emphasized the importance of coordination between national and local authorities as well as with humanitarian development partners in the project.

“It is important to continue to support Member States in mapping and studying how migration affects development and vice versa at the community level to mainstream migration into community development through supporting the development of local migration profiles,” Malanca said.

More than 180 000 Zimbabwean immigrants are set to be deported from South Africa at the expiry of their Zimbabwe Exemption Permits on December 31 this year in a development that is expected to create headaches for the country emphasized the importance of coordination between national and local authorities as well as with humanitarian development partners in this project. “It is important to continue to support Member States in mapping and studying how migration affects development and vice versa at the community level to mainstream migration into community development through supporting the development of local migration profiles,” Malanca said.

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