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, thereby 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.
COVID-19 has caused unprecedented economic and social disruption all over the world. The outbreak of COVID-19 in the country has further exacerbated the need for assistance to most of the population as the pandemic adds another significant shock to the economy, increasing poverty and inequalities, resulting from economic hardships, food crisis, a protracted crisis caused by natural disasters and social conflicts. According to the October 2020 DTM assessment reports, the primary needs of the affected population are food, shelter, infrastructure, health and sanitation, drinking water, protection and legal assistance.
COVID-19 pandemic poses a profound risk for communities in fragile or crisis-affected contexts, particularly for internally displaced persons (IDPs) and host communities, and other vulnerable and at-risk groups, such as stranded migrants.
Over 170,000 migrants have returned to the country since the onset of the pandemic. In response, IOM and partners have assisted the government through multi-sectoral initiatives with a focus on strengthening public health measures at points of entry (PoEs) and along major mobility pathways. There is an expected need to strengthen COVID-19 preparedness and response capacities well into 2021, until treatment or a vaccine is made widely available, with the threat of recurring outbreaks likely to continue. Mental health and psychosocial support services (MHPSS) are a necessary part of this response as affected populations suffer the many negative impacts of the pandemic which include job losses, financial hardship, interrupted education, the loss of loved ones, stigma and isolation. Migrants are among the most affected groups within this complex mobility environment characterised by an increase of substantial internal and external displacement and associated challenges amidst the ongoing crisis, as the country remains highly affected by economic, political and social distress.
The key humanitarian needs across the population of Zimbabwe range from protection, access to health and basic needs services such as food, safe drinking water, shelter and non-food items (NFIs).