Gaborone, Botswana 12 November 2021 — Since the first confirmed case of the COVID-19 pandemic in Botswana on 30 March 2020, the Government of Botswana has implemented targeted responses to curtail the spread of the virus and minimize the socio-economic effects of the pandemic.

As a way of complementing the ongoing efforts of the government, the International Organization for Migration (IOM), with funding from the European Union, is enhancing capacity through the provision of medical supplies containing personal protective equipment (PPE) to the Department of Immigration and Citizenship in support of Botswana’s national response to COVID-19, particularly at borders. The handover of these essential supplies will take place in Gaborone in the presence of government officials and partners.

The protective equipment includes 85,000 surgical masks, 650 face shields, 40,000 latex hand gloves, and 375 liters of hand sanitizer. The donation is part of IOM’s response and support within the framework of the Southern Africa Migration Management (SAMM) project in Botswana. It aims at strengthening the operational capacity of immigration officials at border crossing points to facilitate safe migration in the face of the pandemic.

“IOM expresses its delight to the Government of Botswana for the proactive action taken to break the chain of transmission of COVID-19 in the country. It is extremely grateful to the immigration officials and health professionals who have ensured that the country’s borders remain safe amidst the pandemic. We are proud to complement the Government of Botswana’s efforts and to support the Department of Immigration and Citizenship in their operational response. The donation of PPEs will help keep immigration officials safe while they perform their duties of ensuring safe and orderly Funded by the European Union
migration at the borders”, said Mr. Charles Kwenin, IOM Regional Director for Southern Africa.

“The European Union is a staunch supporter of multilateralism and a loyal partner to the United Nations, so I am particularly pleased that we were able to join hands today with the IOM, to support the Ministry’s border operations by providing PPEs. We have trust in multilateral action, and I know this approach has support also from the Government of Botswana”, said Silvia Bopp-Hamrouni, Deputy Ambassador of the European Union to Botswana and SADC.

The COVID-19 pandemic has undeniably affected many people’s livelihood worldwide, leading to an increasing number of persons opting to migrate in search of better opportunities, and Botswana is no exception. Therefore, IOM is scaling up its interventions in Botswana with the Department of Immigration and Citizenship, the Department of Health, and other stakeholders. The aim is to strengthen Health, Border and Mobility Management1 approaches including assistance to vulnerable and stranded migrants in the mixed migration flows2 to prevent disease outbreaks. IOM remains committed to helping the Government of Botswana address the operational needs of the immigration officials in the country.

The provision of the PPE supplies to respond to the COVID-19 pandemic is generously supported by the European Union within the framework of the SAMM project aimed at strengthening the management of migration in the Southern Africa region.

For more information, please contact Mr. Tunde Omoyeni, Regional Coordinator SAMM project at

2 Mixed migration | Migration data portal