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Covid-19: Sweden releases funds to support affected communities in Zimbabwe

Harare – The embassy of Sweden has released SEK 15,000,000 to support affected communities affected by the coronavirus outbreak in Zimbabwe.

BY OWN CORRESPONDENT

Within the framework of the project “Scaling up coordinated protection, promotion and enforcement of Human rights for citizens and other vulnerable groups including internally displaced persons in Zimbabwe”, the International Organisation for Immigration (IOM) has received additional funds to scale up human rights protection of migrants and vulnerable populations during the Covid-19 pandemic, and also intensifies monitoring, tracking and coordination at points of entry, strengthening the response for vulnerable migrants returnees and the national Covid-19 response.

Swedish ambassador to Zimbabwe Åsa Pehrson said: “This support emphasises the need to monitor points of entries across Zimbabwe, provide health, water and sanitation services in order to save lives of the most vulnerable.”

The intervention will be administrated by the IOM in close coordination with the Ministry of Health and Child Care, district civil protection committees the Social Welfare department, immigration authorities at border posts, United Nations partners and nine civil society organisations.

This undertaking will contribute to strengthen the national Covid-19 response to contain and interrupt the virus from spreading and save lives at risk, particularly migrants and migrants host communities affected by the socio-economic impacts of Covid-19 and strengthen their resilience.

The intervention will focus in five key areas which are to strengthen cross border coordination in health management to assist migrant and mobile populations; reinforce community preparedness advocating to ensure mobility is taken into account in public health messaging and access to information; enhance surveillance of mobile and migrant populations and risk factors; increase capacity of border officials and health workers in awareness and management of points of entry and increase prevention and control.

IOM Zimbabwe chief of mission Mario Lito Malanca welcomed the support, saying: “This support from the embassy of Sweden is key to guarantee IOM Zimbabwe post-arrival humanitarian assistance to migrants’ returnees and to mitigate the risks related to stigmatization and exacerbation of social tensions in receiving communities”.

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