The Civil Defence Commission (CDC) and the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) have announced plans to procure relief supplies to aid Venezuelan migrants in regions One, Seven and Nine.
The CDC and UNICEF, in a joint statement issued on Friday, said that efforts are underway to pre-position relief supplies to enhance the capacity of the three regions in providing basic assistance to meet the initial needs of the displaced population as the influx of Venezuelans into Guyana increases.
It was also noted that relief supplies for shelter, water, sanitation and hygiene are being procured within Guyana to the value of US$30,000 (GY$6,226,562).
Additionally, the statement said, the CDC is expected to deploy the relief supplies within the coming weeks to the Regional Administrations for storage and distribution.
The relief supplies are expected to benefit an estimated sixty (60) families per region, with the total number of persons expected to benefit estimated at 900.
The announcement by the two agencies comes less than a week after Minister of Citizenship Winston Felix disclosed that plans are in motion for the setting up of a homestead settlement area for the 260 confirmed Venezuelans, who are occupying areas in Barima-Waini (Region One).
Felix, in a Ministry of the Presidency statement, had said the resettlement area will allow the Venezuelans to be self-reliant
“It is intended that we [will] develop something like a homestead where families are accumulated and eventually we can move them into cash crop farming. We can encourage that, so that in the first instance they can feed themselves and if they have surpluses they can sell. We are looking at crops for their sustenance and their immediate needs. Once you get that… going then the next thing is to guide them into areas in which they can sustain themselves. The immediate outcome is that we want to see them properly settled and they must be able to sustain themselves…,” he said.
Felix said members of a multi-agency coordinating committee that has been set up will also continue to play their roles in lending whatever aid is necessary to those in Region One, while assessing the migration of Venezuelans into Cuyuni-Mazaruni (Region Seven).
Scores of Venezuelans fleeing economic hardship in their homeland have over the past few month flocked bordering communities in Mabaruma, Region One, thus putting a strain on the Region’s resources. This has prompted Regional Chairman Brentnol Ashely to request more assistance from central government in order to manage the influx.