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Japan pledges support to Basotho returnees


Feb. 8, 2021 2 min read

2 min read


THE Japanese government has pledged to sustainably reintegrate Basotho returnees who were infected by the COVID-19 pandemic while on foreign lands, through a project called "Socio-Economic Reintegration of Returnees and other vulnerable members in migration affected areas severely impacted by COVID-19 pandemic".

The project will be implemented by the International Organisation for Migration (IOM), United Nations (UN) Migration Agency, for 12 months effective from March.

Eriko Nishimura, from the head office of IOM Lesotho said they are committed to bringing changes to the lives of the citizens of Lesotho, mainly the returnees and other vulnerable people affected by the pandemic.

She said they among others implement community development activities in migration affected areas, which can economically support returnees and host communities while facilitating social cohesion.

IOM has been advocating for the adoption of sustainability-oriented reintegration policies that respond to the economic, social and psychosocial needs of returning migrants while also benefiting communities of origin and addressing structural challenges to reintegration.

IOM Communications Officer Tšepo Molefi said they intend to apply part of the reintegration assistance modality which proved to be effective and productive based on the global IOM reintegration project, which will be modified and tailored to the Lesotho context and the urgent needs of returnees pressured by continuous challenges of COVID-19.

The project has three outcomes which are, the government of Lesotho has improved its ability to successfully implement reintegration programmes, vulnerable Basotho returnees impacted by COVID-19 have enhanced their livelihoods through restoring their dignity, income generating opportunities and enhanced their living conditions in the district of origin and the government through the Ministry of Local Government, has improved its ability to enhance social unity or cohesion through community development initiatives.


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These activities are designed to improve beneficiaries’ livelihoods through maximising income-generating opportunities and enhancing their living conditions while also addressing the returnees’ immediate needs to restore their livelihoods and ensure their safety from being infected or affected by COVID-19.

 The project will be implemented in close collaboration with the Ministry of Local Government, the Ministry of Social Development, Ministry of Labour and Employment, as well as the Disaster Management Authority (DMA), among others.

 

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