27 Ethiopians Caught Up In Border Closures Return Home From Zimbabwe
Twenty-seven Ethiopian migrants stuck in Zimbabwe due to border closures arising from COVID-19 have been assisted to return home.
The presence of 15 of the 27 returning migrants was reported in March 2020, in the Gwanda District of Zimbabwe’s Matabeleland South province, where they were being kept in a homestead by a people smuggler due to the closure of the Beitbridge border post on account of COVID-19.
Their travel back home was facilitated by International Organization for Migration (IOM) through the EU-IOM Joint Initiative for Migrant Protection and Reintegration in the Horn of Africa, and the IOM Global Humanitarian Assistance to Stranded Migrants (HASM) programmes. It was coordinated with the Embassy of Ethiopia in Harare, Zimbabwe’s Department of Immigration and the country’s Prisons and Correctional Services.
Direct humanitarian assistance to the 27 Ethiopians included transportation, clothing, hygiene items and personal protective equipment.
About the EU-IOM Joint Initiative
Launched in December 2016 with the support of the European Union (EU) Emergency Trust Fund for Africa, the programme brings together 26 African countries of the Sahel and Lake Chad region, the Horn of Africa, and North Africa, the EU and IOM around the goal of ensuring migration is safer, more informed and better governed for both migrants and their communities.