BY VARAIDZO MUDEWAIRI
AN estimates half a million Zimbabwean immigrants overseas have been forced to return home since the outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic, according to the latest report from the International Organization for Migration (IOM). ).
“By the end of 2021, more than 472,409 migrants had returned to Zimbabwe since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic. Most of these returnees were arriving in communities with limited means to support themselves,” reads IOM’s annual report for 2022.
There are no exact statistics on the number of Zimbabweans outside the country, but estimates put the figure at around three million.
Reports show that Zimbabwean immigrants to South Africa have borne the brunt of the effects of that country’s prolonged lockdown, which has left many of them without sources of income.
A number of Zimbabweans have registered to be sent home.
“IOM continues to support government efforts to build migration management capacity, implement protection and recovery projects, respond to natural disasters and other displacement-causing emergencies, and improve health outcomes for migrants and refugees. communities affected by migration,” the IOM report adds.
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