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Over 200,000 Zimbabweans return home from abroad amid pandemic: IOM

HARARE, (The Southern African Times) – More than 200,000 Zimbabweans working abroad have returned home over the past year as the pandemic took a toll on countries where they had been working, a survey showed.

The decision to return home, according to a survey released Tuesday by the International Organisation of Migration (IOM), was linked to the economic impact of the COVID-19 pandemic, including financial challenges, hunger, loss of accommodation, lack of access to medical health, identity document issues and the risk of assault in the country where they were working.

IOM Zimbabwe Chief of Mission Mario Lito Malanca said the number of returns exceeded expectations, highlighting the socio-economic impact the virus had on the global economy.

The search for better economic prospects has seen many Zimbabweans settling abroad over the past two decades.

Neighboring and regional economic powerhouse South Africa has the bulk of Zimbabwe’s diaspora community.

Other countries in the southern African region with a significant Zimbabwean diaspora community include Botswana and Namibia.

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