Target Beneficiaries 859,879
In this dynamic context, IOM seeks to ensure humanitarian protection and assistance needs are met through the provision of timely, multi-sector interventions, while simultaneously addressing the root causes of vulnerability related to natural hazards and food insecurity, building resilience to future risks in Zimbabwe. Addressing and facilitating rights?based service delivery and building capacity of local authorities and other key stakeholders as well as impacted communities will be critical across IOM’s work.
IOM Zimbabwe is part of a dynamic region characterized by significant cross?border movements of populations. The fundamental cause of large-scale migration from Zimbabwe is political instability, which spawned social and economic instability, creating a combination of factors that have destroyed people’s livelihoods. Zimbabwe is also extremely vulnerable to a wide range of natural and man-made disasters. In the past years, floods, tropical storms, cyclones, and long periods of droughts have deteriorated the capacity of resilience of its population, impacting the most vulnerable rural regions of the country and exacerbating acute needs, resulting in severe food insecurity.
Zimbabwe continues to experience a major scale humanitarian crisis due to man-made and natural hazards. Cyclone Idai, consecutive failed rainy seasons, droughts, floods and other environmental effects, compounded by currency instability and an economic crisis, are impacting the most vulnerable in particular. The country’s inflation rate spiked to more than 200 per cent in recent months. Since August 2019, the poor rainy season and long-lasting drought have significantly reduced crop harvests and access to clean and safe water, resulting in internal displacement and limited household food stocks from the previous consumption year.
These climate shocks have resulted in food insecurity, loss of livelihoods and lower-income levels. The prices of commodities have increased beyond the reach of most rural households, thereby limiting access to food. It is reported that 25 per cent of the rural population is estimated to be in crisis or emergency, and face moderate to large food consumption gaps, or are only marginally able to meet minimum food needs by depleting essential assets or employing crisis or emergency coping strategies (Zimbabwe Vulnerability Assessment Committee – ZimVac 2019).
The intensification of the food security crisis, unemployment, and lack of resources to cope with the situation has triggered waves of displacement and migration, from rural to urban areas, and across borders into neighbouring countries. This has resulted in a multifaceted mobility environment which is characterized by an increase of substantial internal and crossborder movements, requiring continuous monitoring within the affected districts and at key border points.
Ten months after Cyclone Idai hit the country, the government is yet to implement a permanent relocation plan and as a result, many internally displaced persons (IDPs) remain in temporary camps. Emergency shelters, initially provided to last up to six months, are worn out and there is an urgent need to upgrade camp infrastructure (toilets, bathrooms, water supply systems, cooking areas and safe spaces for children and youth), improve coordination and service delivery. Shelter support needs for IDPs and for affected and displaced people who are still accommodated in host communities are still overwhelming. This continues to increase economic and social pressure creating further distress to affected households. Since September 2019, camp coordination and camp management (CCCM) activities ended due to lack of funding. It is essential to resume CCCM activities to address the issues of protection and accountability to affected persons (AAP), the implementation of a camp exit strategy and technical support to the government to operationalize a relocation plan. Recognizing that IDP relocation from camps is not feasible in the short term, it is anticipated that IDPs will remain in camps for a further six to twelve months.
Furthermore, the rising humanitarian needs are forcing families to move and at times adopt negative coping mechanisms, increasing protection risks faced by women and children in particular. While moving from one place to the other, women and children are especially vulnerable, facing risks of exploitation and harassment, which can include sexual assault and other forms of gender-based violence (GBV), in particular trafficking in persons (TiP), and lead to acute and longer-term consequences on the health and well-being of individuals and their communities. Mental health and psychosocial problems are additional challenges faced by IDPs as potential consequences of family separation and challenges, and at times denial, of access to services during a crisis.Post published in: Featured