Zimbabwe: New funding to provide critical assistance to mobile and vulnerable people

Funding by the UN's Central Emergency Response Fund (CERF) for three IOM programmes in Zimbabwe assisting mobile and vulnerable populations will provide critical, life-saving humanitarian assistance to communities across the country.

Nearly half of the US$1.7 million donation will provide much needed support through emergency shelter, access to clean water and sanitation as well as information and resources to counter HIV/AIDS and gender-based violence to mobile and vulnerable populations (MVPs).

Since 2006, IOM has registered more than 226,000 individuals who fall into this group and who face a daily struggle to survive. They face a heightened risk to environmental and health hazards due to a lack of clean water and sanitation facilities as well as an increased vulnerability to HIV and AIDS and gender based violence. The new CERF funding will provide life saving assistance to nearly 7,000 people.

With recent floods in Zimbabwe leading to outbreaks of diarrhea and cholera, highlighting health needs in particular among this group of people, IOM will be able to help strengthen and support the national response through the provision of community health kits, the expansion of the community health volunteer network and by conducting outreach through IOM's mobile health clinics. This emergency health assistance will reach more than 32,198 people.

The remainder of the funds, US$630,000 will be used for a new programme targeting the children of mobile and vulnerable groups, especially orphans, who have no access to basic education. Educational and recreational activities will be restored in a safe environment for children and adolescents alike. IOM will partner with the British and Norwegian arms of the international NGO, Save the Children with UNICEF serving as a technical partner to identify target groups and provide the educational recreational kits.

At least 10,000 children affected by displacement will benefit through new school books and refurbished school buildings and sanitation facilities. Teachers will also be trained on HIV and AIDS prevention, psycho-social support, sexual gender-based violence (SGBV), health and hygiene and child protection issues.

IOM has been operating in Zimbabwe since 1985 with a variety of programmes. It has been working to assist mobile and vulnerable populations since 2003 and in that time has provided emergency shelter and health assistance, livelihood activities and awareness raising on HIV and AIDS, SGBV, and Safe Migration.

For additional information, please contact Erin Foster, IOM Harare, Tel: +263 4 335 048, Email: efoster@iom.int