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.
IDPs in camps and in host communities, migrants, those most at risk due to social-economic conditions, vulnerable population affected and in need of mental health and psychosocial support, as well as those affected in their capacity for self-recovery.
To improve living conditions and the wellbeing of displacement-affected individuals in targeted IDP camps and camp-like settings in Chimanimani, Binga, Chiredzi and Hwange and to strengthen the capacity of IDPs in camps and actors involved in emergency preparedness and response, and risk reduction in camps, IOM will continue providing assistance as CCCM cluster lead through the following activities:
- Support CCCM service delivery, monitoring of standards and implementation of referrals;
- Support information management through day-to-day site monitoring and coordination meetings with IDPs committees, partners and local authorities;
- Provide support to closed sites, including infrastructure decommissioning and transportation for the most vulnerable to return or relocate, when and as appropriate, in accordance with international standards;
- Provide technical support to stakeholders at the site level and local authorities;
- Build the capacity in camp management and camp coordination of government and community actors;
- Support community-based site management interventions/programmes and contingency/preparedness structures and plans;
- Support inclusive community mobilization and capacity building activities to enable local management and the improvement of camps, and discussions on intentions regarding returns;
- Provide mental health and psychosocial support, through local partners, to individuals and families staying in camps, as well as during the relocation process;
- Establish complaints and feedback mechanisms;
- Provide technical support to the government on the development and operationalization of an exit strategy and relocation plan.
The loss of homes and belongings, mounting physical insecurity and possible violent experiences, as well as the overall devastation caused by Cyclone Idai, has left affected communities in distress. Displacement has challenged the usual social networks that individuals and families normally use to cope with distress and has resulted in the acute need for dedicated mental health and psychosocial support (MHPSS). To add to the protracted crisis from natural disasters, COVID-19 has caused unprecedented economic and social disruption, over 30,000 migrants have returned to the country since the onset of the pandemic. In response IOM will:
- Implement rapid assessments at POE, screening of MHPSS needs for migrant returnees.
- Provide mental health and psychosocial support services on a one to one basis for those that need particular assistance.
- Create and/or improve referral pathways for those arriving and receiving assistance with community MHPSS support networks in the communities of destinations.
- Create MHPSS networks at the community level through health workers and local social welfare counsellors that will direct activities to reduce psychosocial vulnerabilities and promote community resilience.
- Provide MHPSS services to promote and support the well-being of frontline staff.
To promote the protection of IDPs, returnees and host communities in different areas of Zimbabwe, assisting vulnerable populations, including survivors and those at risk of GBV, as well as other persons at risk of violence, abuse and exploitation, IOM will implement the following activities:
- Increase awareness of risks of trafficking in persons and GBV in specific emergency situations;
- Build mission staff capacity on protection issues.
- Support the establishment of safe reporting mechanisms (such as hotlines).
- Support the establishment of safe spaces based on needs assessments focusing on women and girls.
- Facilitate access to services responding to individual needs of crisis-affected persons, including survivors of GBV.
- Strengthen measures that aim to mitigate risks of and prevent GBV in emergency settings, through information dissemination, capacity building of local authorities and community mobilizers, etc.
- Improve advocacy and protection of unaccompanied migrants that are potentially at risk to be trafficked, used as forced labour or abuse, by using the referral mechanisms in place in the country, integrated by social welfare and UN partners.
As a key part of any humanitarian response, protection mainstreaming and IOM's Institutional Framework for Addressing Gender-Based Violence in Crises (GBViC Framework, 2018) guiding principles will be incorporated in all of IOM's crisis-related activities. As such, IOM ensures the "Do No Harm" principle, while promoting non-discrimination, meaningful access, safety, dignity, participation, empowerment and accountability measures are an integral part of its crisis response.
Shelter support is vital to the return and recovery of displaced populations. IOM, as the lead of the Shelter/NFI and CCCM Cluster, will work with cluster partners and the affected communities to improve shelter conditions in host communities and to improve living conditions and the management of the displacement sites.
The aim of shelter assistance programmes is to ensure that families have adequate, appropriate and safe shelter to support their transition towards permanent and durable housing, prioritizing the needs of the most vulnerable, ensuring participation, freedom of choice, and access to basic services to ensure a life of dignity through the following activities:
- Assess and rehabilitate damaged infrastructure.
- Upgrade infrastructure in host displacement sites according to the needs.
- Conduct meetings at the district level to set up guidelines for beneficiaries’ selection criteria and registration.
- Assess suppliers to coordinate the procurement of building materials (market assessment).
- Procure and mobilize materials.
- Build the capacity of local community builders.
- Construct and rehabilitate emergency and transitional shelter structures according to Sphere standards, and in reference to national cluster/sector standards/guidance.
- Ensure protection issues are observed throughout construction, including partitions and door locks to better protect women and girls, particularly single women and female-headed households.
- Procure, distribute and stockpile NFIs.
- Conduct post-distribution monitoring assessment;
- Conduct cluster coordination meetings.
Address the drivers and longer term impacts of crises and displacement through investments in recovery and crisis prevention
Cyclone Idai displaced and affected population in Manicaland and Masvingo Provinces and migrant returnees vulnerable due to the socio-economic impact of the pandemic
Community stabilization seeks to support governments, states and communities undergoing significant socioeconomic and political changes during and following a crisis, in order to (re)establish stability and security, prevent further forced migration, restore trust among community members, vulnerable populations and local authorities and lay the foundations for durable solutions, lasting peace and sustainable development.
IOM will look to provide longer-term support to affected communities leveraging its emergency support provided through the following activities:
- Restore basic rights and dignity of migrant returnees and affected population through access to promoting equitable access to basic and protection services.
- Promote social cohesion avoiding stigmatization and social tension, though community based approaches.
- Build capacity for inclusive state and local governance.
- Promote non-violent political processes and civic education.
- Support social policy development.
- Support inclusive economic recovery.
- Promote socio-economic reintegration through self-employment and community income projects and livelihood activities to ensure community stabilization.
- Provide farming inputs targeting nutrition gardens and smallholder farmers, and productive assets creation like conservation farming and supporting market linkages.
- Undertake interventions identified through a community-based planning (CBP) approach to support post-crisis recovery and durable solutions.
The specific vulnerabilities created by displacement have been intensified with time due to a lack of durable solutions, lack of resilience and the ability of communities to rebuild their lives as a result of protracted crisis. IOM is focusing on ending displacement in protracted crisis situations by implementing a strategy supporting durable solutions and monitoring progress towards that end, in line with IOM's Progressive Resolution of Displacement Situations. IOM will:
- Provide technical support and capacity-strengthening to government national and local authorities as well as local NGOs through trainings, and informational tools on how to develop and operationalize different strategies to end displacement.
- Improve access to livelihoods and basic services ensuring an adequate standard of living, including access to adequate food, water, housing, health services and education.
- Support policy development that aims and promotes good governance and social cohesion.
- Research new strategies to improve employment and support programmatic activities to end displacement.
Epidemics increase economic stress and social fragility in communities already experiencing chronic vulnerability. Addressing the socio-economic impacts of the health crisis requires enhanced support to prevent the disease from deepening levels of crisis and vulnerability. IOM is seeking to urgently mitigate the deteriorating food security and livelihoods situation of returned migrants and their communities of origin through the provision of agricultural inputs support and livestock rearing support in a way that builds their resilience to future shocks, prevents and stem negative coping strategies. All activities, in particular those related to farming and rearing, will be guided by a gender analysis to take into account the gendered division of labour within households. Priority activities will include the following:
- Provide cash or voucher transfers to safeguard food security and access to basic services for individuals not covered by existing social protection schemes
- Implement livelihoods training in the creation of high demand products (e.g. PPE, sanitation products).
- Provide cash-for-work prioritizing critical infrastructure.
- Support small to medium-sized enterprises to recover lost livelihoods (e.g. to match skills to essential services).
- Provide agro-inputs drought-tolerant seeds and fertilisers to address interruptions in supply chains and a disrupted planting/harvest season.
- Provide training on good agricultural practices with an emphasis on climate-smart agriculture and a gender-based approach analysis since a majority of farming practices are conducted by women head of households.
- Provide start-up livestock to crisis affected population and their households as a way of creating households assets
- Provide training on good agricultural practices with an emphasis on climate-smart agriculture.
IOM assists crisis-affected populations, governments, and host communities to strengthen and re-establish primary health-care systems. IOM’s emergency health programming includes the provision of direct health-care services, health promotion, mental health and psychosocial support (MHPSS), as well as outbreak preparedness and response.
Mental wellbeing is crucial to poverty reduction, peacebuilding, addressing gender-based violence and reconstruction of affected areas and economies. Even providing basic assistance, such as shelter, water and sanitation, food and medical aid, is more effective when combined with psychosocial programmes. Uncoordinated, stand-alone MHPSS programmes, however, can increase the risk of social stigma. To support MHPSS in crisis recovery and prevention, IOM will:
- Create sustainable referral mechanisms at the community level to existing mental health services, while building the capacity of the health sector to respond to the mental health needs of IDPs, migrants and other crisis affected populations.
- Support mechanisms to restore the social and political fibre of society adapted to the needs of each particular community.
- Support post-crisis justice and reconciliation mechanisms integrating MHPSS structures.
District and provincial administration officers, members of the District Civil Protection Units (DCPU), IDPs and at-risk communities.
IOM Zimbabwe uses its extensive expertise and experience to identify ways to more effectively address future humanitarian challenges related to natural hazards and disasters, ensure preparedness and enable a more effective operational response to crises. Zimbabwe faces a number of challenges: the country is prone to sudden natural disasters, including floods, storms and cyclones, as well as general droughts, resulting in large numbers of IDPs in need of support to foster resilience. Political uncertainty combined with this natural hazard-prone environment, compounded by the impacts of climate change, elevates the importance of preparedness measures. In this regard, IOM will:
- Provide community based interventions in support of the government and community resilience to prepare for new crises and displacements caused by human or natural disasters.
- Support the creation and operationalization of an emergency response strategy, working in close partnership with, and promoting synergies between, relevant government and non-governmental stakeholders.
Natural hazards in Zimbabwe frequently result in large-scale population movements, within and across borders, which reduce access to essential services and increase exposure to violence, impacting the health and well-being of both displaced populations and host communities. Disasters and environmental degradation also threaten to hamper progress towards the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), especially for a low-income country such as Zimbabwe.
Zimbabwe has established a Disaster Risk Reduction (DRR) policy, but has a limited capacity to support these practices on the ground. There is a clear need for interventions that can provide technical support and train the institutions involved in DRR to effectively execute their mandates, create a culture of resilience to hazards, and establish concise preparedness plans to intervene in case of future crises. In this regard, IOM will:
- Establish a National Support Hub in Harare, as a prevention measure, to strengthen the disaster risk management in Zimbabwe and to include public health risk reduction activities such as preparedness mitigation measures for disease outbreaks.
- Mobilize stakeholders at all levels to pay increasing attention to Disaster Risk Management (DRM) as part of their wider development agendas, and more crucially, to recognize the cross-cutting and central role of capacity development in the task of creating a culture of resilience to hazards.
- Build DRM capacity to strengthen the competencies and skills of government officials, groups and communities to support more durable solutions.
- Educate and include communities in the preparedness efforts through community-based early warning tools, development of community-based plans, working with local authorities and community leaders to develop localized approaches to preparedness.
Recent experiences during the COVID-19 pandemic have highlighted the need for information on migration trends and mobility to be able to track returning residents, improve surveillance and follow up to limit the spread of the disease, as well as identify other disease outbreak that might affect the population, cross border communities and vulnerable population. With migration and human mobility at the core of the organization’s mandate, IOM’s approach to responding to disease outbreaks and preparing for future public health threats is particularly anchored on human mobility, notably through its Health, Border and Mobility Management (HBMM) framework. Among the key activities, IOM will:
- Analyze mobility dynamics through Population Mobility Mapping (PMM) and flow monitoring for public health purposes.
- Strengthen community events-based disease surveillance in migration affected communities.
- Contribute to the development of public health interventions to prevent, detect and respond to public health emergencies and international health threats along the mobility continuum.
- Support the implementation of the International Health Regulations (IHR 2005).
- Support health facilities at the main cross border points around Zimbabwe.
- Support the response and direct assistance to affected cross-border communities in the event of an outbreak of communicable and non-communicable diseases affect the population including HIV, TB and Malaria.
- Advocate for universal health coverage (UHC) among migrants and IDPs.
IOM will continue to strengthen, in line with International Health Regulations (IHR 2005), core capacities at Points of Entry (PoE), with a particular focus on ground crossings, working closely with both health and non-health border officials. Activities will include:
- Support the periodic review of Standard Operating Procedures tailored to the specific PoE needs, aimed at improving detection, notification, isolation and referral of ill passengers.
- Improve cross border coordination mechanisms.
- Establish and maintain a PoE public health emergency contingency plan, including the nomination of a coordinator and contact points for relevant PoE, to communicate alerts of suspected COVID-19 cases between PoE health authorities and transport sector officials, through joint committees and inter-agency meetings currently in place.
- Support capacity building in active surveillance, health screening, referral and data collection at PoE.
- Support government and inter-agency coordination on reporting on data dissemination for the purposes of public health interventions and advocacy.
- Strengthen Environmental Health Practitioners (EHP) at PoEs to conduct surveillance and contact tracing at the border and follow up in coordination with EHPs at the province level considering previous travel history based on interviews/passport entries and available border data.
- Increase information sharing through Health Promotion Officers (HPO) in prevention advice and advice on when/how to seek health care for travellers, and the risk of irregular migration.
- Assist in the provision of needed personal protective equipment (PPE) and supplies for border officials and health workers.
- Assist at border areas and border crossing to improve isolation facilities and equipment at PoE sites.
- Improve hygiene practices at PoE sites, through dissemination of handwashing protocols and provision of resources.
- Increase risk communication and health promotion campaigns for travellers/PoE users and border communities.
- Continue emergency support to returned vulnerable migrants impacted by COVID-19 measures.
As a result of these activities, border officials and health-care providers at PoE will have the appropriate equipment, knowledge, skills and Standard Operating Procedures in place to respond to COVID-19 and any other diseases of epidemic potential, as well as improved integrated border management procedures and capacities.
The displacement crisis has challenged the usual social networks that individuals and families normally use to cope. The loss of homes and belongings, mounting physical insecurity and possible violent experiences, as well as the overall devastation caused by different crises, results in distress for the affected communities and creates the acute need for dedicated mental health and psychosocial support (MHPSS).
Within a MHPSS response, IOM, in collaboration with the Ministry of Health and health sector partners, has a shared responsibility to facilitate community mobilisation and support, through community participation, understanding local power structures and working with different sub-groups. To enable crisis-affected populations to regain some self-control over their situation, an integrated MHPSS response is essential. IOM, in partnership with the Counselling Services Unit (CSU), has been working to strengthen the capacity of communities to cope with the impact of the disaster through MHPSS direct service provision. IOM will:
- Create a Whole Recovery Action Plan (WRAP) through mobile teams that support the process of recovery for people with MHPSS challenges at the state level, and who perform house visit in the communities.
- Strengthen Mental and Psychosocial support networks at the community level, by involving health professionals counsellors, front line workers, community leaders, community health professionals, fostering participation in coordination bodies and community dialogues.
- Utilize a MHPSS programme for emergencies with a standardized approach: psychosocial mobile teams (PMTs) that will offer services in a community-based fashion.
- Promote and ensure community self-help and social support identifying naturally occurring sources of coping mechanism and resilience through participatory methods.
- Support existing community initiatives, especially encouraging those that promote family and community support for all emergency-affected community members, including people at greatest risk of MHPSS problems.
- Support community’s own spontaneous initiatives, considering specifically people at the greatest risk.
- Facilitate communal healing and support for very young children.
- Promote community psychosocial and social cohesion between returned migrants and receiving communities.
Within the new health context, and the COVID-19 outbreak, information on migration trends and mobility needs to be further enhanced to be able to track returning residents, improve surveillance and follow up to limit the spread of the disease, as well as to inform partners about the need and vulnerabilities, gaps and mobility trends, to inform their programmatic activities, such as government counterparts, UN partners, NGOs, and others.
IOM will continue to implement its Displacement Tracking Matrix (DTM), comprising of a set of information management tools that are used to collect primary sex-age-disability disaggregated data, to track mobility and provide key information on vulnerabilities and needs of internally displaced and affected persons in Zimbabwe as well as migrants returnees, mobility trends and other mobile populations.
Within the new health context, and the COVID-19 outbreak, information on migration trends and mobility needs to be further enhanced to be able to track returning residents, improve surveillance and limit the spread of the disease.
The following two important components will be utilized to reinforce data for disease surveillance, preparedness and information to feed into programmatic activities:
- Flow Monitoring (FM) is one of the components of the DTM and is used to derive qualitative information and quantitative estimates of the flows and profiles of individuals crossing a transit point. The purpose of FM is to collect data on movements and needs of groups of individuals, in line with governments needs and priorities, to identify the principal transit points and routes taken by migrants, and to define priority areas for migrant assistance along migration routes. It is envisaged as a complementary tool to existing migration data in the region for further analysis of migration trends as well as the needs and vulnerabilities of the migrant population.
- Population Mobility Mapping (PMM) aims to provide outbreak preparedness and response actors with information to prevent the introduction or to limit the spread of an infectious disease. This approach informs priority locations and areas for public health interventions through an analysis of the dynamics and characteristics of population mobility.
In the context of COVID-19, information collected through PMM may be used to inform capacity-building efforts to prepare points of entry and other priority locations (including community-level interventions) to prevent, detect and respond to COVID-19 while travel restrictions remain in place, based on prevailing mobility patterns during the period of restrictions, and for when travel restrictions are lifted based on common mobility patterns and routes. Additionally, it may be used to understand the impacts of travel restrictions on mobility dynamics, including on movement patterns and routes, access to services and impacts on specific groups or communities.
Figures are as of 31 December 2020. For more details of IOM's operational capacity in country, please see the IOM Capacity section.