USAID pours US$1 million to cushion 8 000 migrants 

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By Darlington Gatsi

The United States Agency for International Development (USAID) has poured in US$1,097,540 which is set to benefit migrants through income-generating projects.

The money will be donated to the International Organisation of Migration (IOM) which has identified migrants in Mwenezi, Zaka, Nkayi, Matobo, and Umzingwane districts as potential beneficiaries.

In a statement, IOM said migrants from the areas will be assisted to kick start income-generating projects so as to be cushioned from the harsh economic environment and climate change.

“Households in these communities struggle to raise adequate income to meet essential needs and are often fully dependent on remittances during certain periods of the year. IOM’s surveys have shown that in these areas, seasonal or permanent migration are common coping mechanisms.

“When migrants from these communities return home, they are often destitute and sometimes suffer from trauma because of their experiences and the process of return. At the same time, their households lose a source of remittances,” read the statement.

The project aims to benefit nearly 8 000 migrants through cash-based interventions.

“The IOM project will provide cash and voucher-based assistance to vulnerable migrant returnees to support income-generating activities for 1,850 at-risk households (7,955 individuals). IOM will conduct village and household assessments to identify project participants and market assessments to determine appropriate income-generating activities. Participants will purchase necessary inputs for the income-generative activities through e-vouchers administered by a private sector partner with a wide network.

“The income-generating activities will provide a source of income to cushion participants’ immediate needs and curb circular migration or the use of negative coping mechanisms. The project will also provide information, counselling, and referral services for returnees who require mental health and psychosocial support,” read the statement further.