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IOM Zimbabwe Country Office Annual Report 2020

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OVERVIEW

Zimbabwe is facing socio-economic crisis, further worsened by the COVID-19 (coronavirus) pandemic. In 2019, Zimbabwe was hit by severe drought and Cyclone Idai, that coupled with shortages of foreign currency led to double-digit contraction of agriculture, electricity, and water production and pushed more than half of the population into food insecurity. The economy has been aected by the rapid depreciation of the local currency and high inationary pressures. Zimbabwe’s rainfall forecast for 2019/2020 was characterized by El-Nino induced drought which was typied by poor and erratic rainfall. This had a negative impact on the country's agriculture season and the country’s food availability and accessibility. Poverty continues to be one of the major underlying causes of vulnerability to food and nutrition insecurity as well as precarious livelihoods in Zimbabwe. As a result, 7.5 million people in both the urban and rural areas were estimated to require urgent food assistance. The COVID-19 pandemic has impacted migration, with mitigation measures restricting mobility like border closures and lockdowns. Almost 160 00 migrants from all over the world returned to Zimbabwe since the onset of the pandemic. In 2020, IOM launched the COVID-19 Strategic Preparedness and Response Plan which is aligned with IOM’s regional response to contain and interrupt the virus from spreading and save lives at risk, particularly migrants, displaced persons and host communities, structured under four strategic priorities: mobility tracking,emergency preparedness and response, provision of basic services and tacking the socio-economic impact of COVID-19. Along with this work, in 2020 IOM worked to promote migration governance, build the capacity of those working to combat tracking in persons, protect human rights, provide multisectoral assistance for IDPs and mobile populations and support public health initiatives.