UNICEF donates $6M relief to Venezuelans in Guyana
The United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) on Friday announced its decision to aid the Civil Defence Commission (CDC) with US$30,000 to provide relief to Venezuelan refugees in Guyana.Some of these migrants have settled in various communities in Regions One (Barima-Waini); Seven (Cuyuni-Mazaruni) and Nine (Upper Takutu-Upper Essequibo).The organisation stated that supplies were being sent to assist with some of the necessities of these persons, noting that the inflow of migrants has increased over the past months.The items range from those intended for shelter to water, sanitation and hygiene supplies which are being sent to the CDC and the respective regional administrations for distribution. A total of 60 families per region are expected to benefit.To escape the economic crisis in Venezuela, many persons from the country have been pouring into Guyana to better their living conditions. There has been a continued influx of Venezuelan refugees into Guyana’s border communities as the social and economic crisis in that country worsens. On Monday, Minister of Citizenship Winston Felix announced that initiatives were being undertaken for the establishment of a settlement area for 260 of these migrants in Region One.This was done following a meeting with the coordinating committee at the Ministry of Citizenship. The committee is working in collaboration with the International Organisation for Migration (IOM) and the United Nations Human Rights’ Council (UNHRC).Region One Chairman Brentnol Ashley had told Guyana Times that donations for the refugees could be made to the Office of the Regional Democratic Council (RDC) Mabaruma Compound. Mabaruma Mayor Henry Smith has warned that a health crisis may be looming in Region One, given the large number of Venezuelans who are illegally crossing the border to seek medical attention and engage in trade.Meanwhile, the Venezuela Support Group (VSG) was established in Guyana to provide advice and assistance to Venezuelans seeking refuge from the deprivations and insecurity that are currently gripping their homeland. The organisation consists of eight civic and faith-based organisations, which were assembled to establish possible partnerships with the Ministry of Citizenship.