The U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) is providing US$1,097,540 to the
International Organization for Migration (IOM) for a 14-month project to build resilience for migrant returnees and their households through income-generating activities.
IOM has identified Mwenezi, Zaka, Nkayi, Matobo, and Umzingwane districts as particularly vulnerable to the effects of climate change, hyperinflation, and poverty. Households in these communities struggle to raise adequate income to meet essential needs and are often fully dependent on remittances during certain periods of the year. IOM’s surveys have shown that in these areas, seasonal or permanent migration are common coping mechanisms.
When migrants from these communities return home, they are often destitute and sometimes suffer from trauma because of their experiences and the process of return. At the same time, their households lose a source of remittances.
The IOM project will provide cash and voucher-based assistance to vulnerable migrant returnees to support income generating activities for 1,850 at-risk households (7,955 individuals). IOM will conduct village and household assessments to identify project participants and market assessments to determine appropriate income-generating activities. Participants will purchase necessary inputs for the income-generative activities through e-vouchers administered by a private sector partner with a wide network. The income-generating activities will provide a source of income to cushion participants’ immediate needs and curb circular migration or the use of negative coping mechanisms. The project will also provide information, counselling, and referral services for returnees who require mental health and psychosocial support.
IOM is committed to supporting effective and dignified assistance to people in need. Cash-based interventions (CBI) provide support through cash or voucher assistance to aid recipients to directly purchase and access goods or services. Well-implemented CBIs have demonstrated the ability to strengthen recipients’ resettlement as it gives beneficiaries the ability to prioritize items and services according to their needs. IOM has found that CBI delivers assistance in a more dignified manner that can restore autonomy and empower recipients. Additionally, CBI can also contribute to the recovery of local markets and financial infrastructure following disruptions caused by disasters or crises.
IOM Zimbabwe Chief of Mission Mario Lito Malanca welcomed the support from USAID and said, “We are excited to once again be partnering with USAID in the implementation of a project to improve access of migrants, mobile populations and affected communities to basic needs and enhancing their resilience in crises. We endeavour to use CBI as a part of a comprehensive solution that links humanitarian assistance with social protection systems and livelihood support.”