This works out to an average of 7 300 individuals deported from South Africa every month for the 43 months since the inception of the facility.
IOM also revealed last week that another 57 000 Zimbabwean migrantshave been assisted between June 2008 and June last year at a similar centre it operates at the Plumtree border with Botswana.
The figures reveal the stark reality of a nation in motion thousands
of people leaving Zimbabwe daily in search of economic refuge in
The exodus has not relented despite the formation of a government of
national unity by the countrys three main political parties 11 months
The IOM said the change in South African government policy allowing
for visa-free entry into the country resulting in an end to forced
returns has however reduced the number of deportations, forcing the
organisation to shift focus on assistance at Beitbridge to
information-dissemination, developing options for the sustainable
voluntary return of vulnerable migrants from South Africa and
assisting unaccompanied minors.
More than three million Zimbabweans have left the country for
neighbouring and Western countries since 2000 and most of them are
based in South Africa and Botswana.
Most of the migrants have no proper documentation and are often
deported back to Zimbabwe.
The Netherlands government came to the aid of IOM last week when it
unveiled new US$1.5 million funding to support the organisations
humanitarian activities in Zimbabwe for a year.
The new funding would support activities carried out at the Beitbridge
and Plumtree reception and support centres where IOM offers returned
migrants with basic health care and referrals, information on safe
migration and the risks of HIV/AIDS as well as meals and
transportation assistance to final destinations home.
The funds would also support mobile clinics providing free medical
services and access to essential drugs in urban and peri-urban
settlements as well as the rehabilitation of water and sanitation
infrastructure in Zimbabwe which was badly hit by cholera in 2008.
“This new funding from the Dutch government will go a long way to
improving the quality of life for many people in need of assistance,”
said IOM chief of mission in Zimbabwe, Marcelo Pisani.Post published in: Politics