Harare – The UN International Organisation for Migration has assisted over 180,000 Zimbabweans working abroad to return home since the advent of the COVID-19 pandemic in December 2019.
Ms Maria Ribeiro, the UN Country Representative in Zimbabwe, said Wednesday the pandemic had negatively affected Zimbabweans working abroad.
“One example is, migrant workers including Zimbabweans who were working in neighboring countries and further afield were heavily impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic due to their status as frontline workers,” she said. “In other cases, they were among the first to be retrenched due to their economic status as migrants. To that effect, over 180,000 Zimbabweans engaged in migrant labour have returned home with the assistance of IOM since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic.”
Ms Ribeiro made the remarks at a ceremony where Zimbabwe’s President Emmerson Mnangagwa launched the Labour Migration Policy and the National Disability Policy.
The two policies will guide observance of rights for migrant workers and people living with disabilities. The Labour Migration Policy and the National Disability Policy were crafted with the assistance of the UN Country Office.
President Mnangagwa said the National Disability Policy would enhance inclusivity and participation of people with disabilities in national development. On the National Labour Migration Policy, he said the movement of labour was on the rise globally resulting in the need for a co-ordinated approach to manage the movement and ensure maximum benefits for the country