Homestead identified for Venezuelans in Mabaruma – Felix

Minister of Citizenship Winston Felix (at head of table) at the meeting with other stakeholders. (Ministry of the Presidency photo)

The Ministry of Citizen-ship and the Mayor and Town Council of Mabaruma have identified a plot of land in Mabaruma for the establishment of a homestead settlement area or humanitarian centre for the registered Venezuelans, who are occupying areas in Barima-Waini (Region One), according to the Minister Winston Felix. 

According to a  release from the Ministry of the Presidency (MoTP), the Minister made this announcement on Monday at the conclusion of the fifth multi-agency coordinating committee meeting held at the Ministry of Citizenship, in Georgetown. He said the resettlement area, which will allow the Venezuelans to be self-reliant, is privately owned and Government will now have to initiate efforts to determine what arrangements can be put in place to acquire the land for the establishment of the centre.

 “[The Department of] Immigration is continuing the registration and support work… The Police [are] also following through with the support work to this committee. So, all agencies, locally, are locked into this committee to provide services and support for the Venezuelans in Guyana. We are also [examining] the situation in Region Seven [in order] to find out where [the Venezuelans] are and what numbers we have to [cater for],” Felix was quoted as saying in the press release, from the MoTP.

 The Ministry of Public Health has established health posts in the affected areas, including at Mabaruma and Morawhanna, and by the end of next week, will establish one at Imbotero Village, from which migrants and residents are being screened and vaccinated, while it is bolstering its presence in Cuyuni-Mazaruni (Region Seven), the MoTP release said. Refrigerators for the storage of vaccines at the locations have already been procured and will be dispatched and set up by the end of next week.  

The International Organisation for Migration (IOM) has committed its support to addressing the migration of the Venezuelans and to help boost Guyana’s capacity to deal with such situations in the event of future occurrences, according to the statement. The IOM is currently gathering data on the migrants and observing trends through a Displacement Tracking Matrix in Regions One, Two, Four and Seven and has committed to developing a Terms of Reference (TOR) for a Consultant, who would review the various sectors’ current policies and Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs) for dealing with migrants. The Consultant will also be tasked with the updating and/or development of these, as well as the guidelines for emergencies, which can guide responses in the future.  

A Migrant Support Centre will be established in Region One to be housed at the Regional Democratic Council’s office.

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