COVID-19 HUMANITARIAN CRISIS ZIMBABWEAN DIASPORA APPEAL 1 MAY 2020 - 31 OCTOBER 2020 I PUBLISHED ON 01 MAY 2020
On 11 March 2020, the World Health Organization (WHO) declared the Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) as a pandemic, crossing international boundaries and affecting millions. Globally, as of 01 May 2020, there have been more than 3,274,747 confirmed cases in 185 countries/regions, with 233,972 deaths. The first case of COVID-19 was reported in South Africa on 5 March 2020. As of 01 May 2020, South Africa has reported 5,647 confirmed cases across all the nine provinces of the country, with 103 deaths. The Govern- ment of South Africa had since declared a State of National Disaster and on 26 March 2020, a nationwide lockdown was declared for 21 days. The Government of South Africa announced the extension of the lockdown further by two weeks until 30 April 2020 in order to contain the spread of the virus.
The nationwide lockdown has resulted in huge socio-economic impacts and social protection needs in the country, with considerable impact on the vulnerable populations including migrants. Significant number of Zimbabwean migrants in South Africa are gravely affected and unable to meet their needs in this crisis situation. The migrants are faced with loss of daily income as a result of the crisis which have further pushed them into vulnerable or exploita- tive situations. Although, the government has announced some assistance to ameliorate the socio-economic impacts of the COVID-19 response, thousands of Zimbabwean migrants, particularly those in irregular and vulnerable situations, are finding it difficult to have access to these assistance. With limited access to livelihoods, they are increasingly becoming destitute and in need of urgent humanitarian assistance.
At the initiative of the Zimbabwean Embassy in South Africa, and in partnership with the International Organization for Migration (IOM), a COVID-19 Humanitarian Appeal is being launched. The Appeal is to respond to the most urgent needs of stranded and vulnerable Zimbabwean migrants in South Africa. The Appeal outlines the required support and associated funding requirements from 01 May – 31 October 2020 through the resources to be mobilized from the Zimbabweans in the communities and other well wishers.
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