Emergencies and Humanitarian Assistance
Emergency and humanitarian assistance to migrants and displaced people is a cornerstone service for IOM in the region. In 2007, the organization has assisted people displaced by floods in Mozambique and Angola. IOM also provides humanitarian assistance to displaced groups in Zimbabwe, and Zimbabwean returnees at the Beitbridge border post.
Persistent heavy rainfall in central and northern Mozambique in January and February 2007 caused large-scale flooding and destruction in the Zambezi river basin. About 285,000 people were directly affected by the floods, with 163,000 of them displaced from their homes and land.
After receiving nearly US$800,000 from the UN's Central Emergency Revolving Fund (CERF), IOM Mozambique responded to the floods through the provision of emergency shelter, as well as the technical support for and coordination of resettlement and reconstruction activities.
IOM provided non-food items to the displaced including shelter framing materials, fixings, blankets, sleeping mats, tarpaulins and tool kits, as well as critical support to the Mozambican government for resettlement activities. With partners, IOM helped identify, demarcate and legalize thousands of family home sites away from flood vulnerable areas.
The funds from CERF also enabled IOM Mozambique and its partners to support a substantial number of families affected by Cyclone Favio, which damaged thousands of homes, hospitals, schools and crops in one of the country's prime tourist zones in the northern Inhambane province. Boxes of shelter material were also distributed to the victims of the armoury depot explosion, which occurred in Maputo in March 2007. 140 people died, more than 500 were injured, with hundreds of homes destroyed and many more damaged by the explosions.
In February 2007, the remote Cazombo district in Angola’s Eastern Moxico was hit hard by devastating floods. IOM has been assisting with the recovery efforts by providing both shelter and livelihood support assistance.
Through the distribution of seed kits to some 2,300 particularly vulnerable families living in Cazombo district, the IOM has been assisting flood-affected households to restart agricultural activities and produce their own food in order to become more self-sufficient.
With many fields destroyed by the recent floods, food production and food availability in Moxico province remains bellow the national average and many families will still require food assistance in the coming weeks and months.
In some areas, IOM’s work continues to be hampered by the fact that infrastructures, such as roads or bridges that were damaged by the floods, have not been repaired, leaving a number of villages isolated and communities marooned.
Nevertheless, IOM continues to assist more than 10,000 flood-affected persons by providing shelter material to affected families and by building shelters on higher grounds.
In the villages of Lunanchi and Mupachi, a hundred transitional shelters have been built in cooperation with the local authorities and with the assistance of the communities.
IOM’s Reception and Support Centre at Beitbridge in Matebeleland South provides humanitarian assistance to Zimbabwean migrants returned from South Africa.
Assistance includes immediate food support, basic health care and referrals for further treatment, information on safe migration and the risks of HIV/AIDS, as well as transportation home.
A Child Centre was also established for unaccompanied children to receive assistance, counseling, and temporary accommodation while their families are located and other durable solutions are identified.
Beneficiaries with protection concerns have been assisted to report their cases. The nature of the cases includes: rape, confiscation of identity documents, theft, physical assault, trafficking, confiscation of drugs (ARVs) and, robbery. IOM assists beneficiaries with immediate medical and psychosocial interventions; this includes Post Exposure prophylaxis, counseling and appropriate referrals.
IOM Zimbabwe is establishing a Reception and Support Centre at Plum Tree to provide immediate humanitarian assistance to returned migrants from Botswana. IOM also provides humanitarian assistance to Mobile and Vulnerable Populations including a package of relief and limited reintegration assistance, ranging from food, non-food items, shelter, water and sanitation to livelihood support, HIV/AIDS and GBV mainstreaming, as well as emergency health assistance.