IOM reveals displaced family horror

woman_homeless_zimHARARE - The International Organisation for Migration (IOM) says there are more than 14 000 internally displaced families in Zimbabwe who are in urgent need of assistance and protection. (Pictured: IOMs survey has the revealed the truth of homelessness in the country)

The organisation said joint rapid assessments conducted with its partners in January, February, and June 2009 in Harare, Manicaland, Mashonaland Central, Mashonaland East and Mashonaland West provinces revealed that 14 305 internally displaced person (IDP) households were in need of immediate assistance that included shelter, food and non-food items, livelihood and legal support and protection of their civic rights, especially physical integrity and safety.

IOM said it was launching a new programme focusing on the provision of emergency life-saving material and protection assistance to the IDPs and returnees which would benefit about 18 000 displaced people (approximately 3 000 families) in Harare and Mashonaland Central.

Both provinces were hit hard by waves of displacements in 2008 due to political violence and various policy initiatives including farm acquisitions, with the latter responsible for continuous new displacement.

“Investing in emergency life saving interventions is key because they provide much needed physical protection to the displaced, said Marcelo Pisani, IOM Chief of Mission in Zimbabwe. Shelter, basic necessities and an opportunity to earn a living are the surest way to protect displaced people. Without these, when they have already lost their homes and livelihoods, they are always vulnerable to all forms of violence and abuse.”

The new programme, with US$ 410,000 of funding from the United Nations’ Central Emergency Response Fund (CERF), would be jointly implemented by IOM and the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) through implementing partners.

IOMs strategy

IOM said a strategy to respond to the protection needs of the displaced had already been developed.

Under the strategy, the migration organisation would focus on measures to respond to threats on physical security and the persecution of displaced populations through the provision of emergency shelter, non-food items, psychosocial support to survivors of violence and the setting up of healing and reconciliation initiatives.

UNHCR would concentrate on rebuilding the destroyed livelihoods of IDPs and returnees as well as provision of mobile clinics for legal advice and counselling and on establishing networks for community based workers.

Post published in: Politics

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