Food aid remains top priority for Venezuelan immigrants

-as RDC exhausts resources

Food remains a need for Venezuelan immigrants in Mabaruma, Region One, as the Regional Democratic Council (RDC) has exhausted its resources.

Regional Chairman Brentnol Ashley told this newspaper that more than 200 immigrants of Warrau descent crossed the borders over the past two weeks in search of food and accommodation.

Elaborating, Ashley said that 63 families, which on average consist of four persons, recently arrived in White Water Village, while 26 individuals arrived in Imbotero, and a further 25 in Yarikita. With the arrival of more immigrants, the Regional Chairman estimates that the total number of Venezuelan immigrants of Warrau descent in Mabaruma is now close to a 1,000.

However, the absence of a sustainable supply of food has and continues to be a challenge for the village and the RDC, particularly since the RDC has exhausted the resources issued under the line item used to provide humanitarian aid.

Ashley explained that though hampers containing non-food items were distributed to the immigrants who recently arrived, food is what is needed most at this time.

This, he said, was more recently reflected by visits to the RDC by Toshaos of the respective villages to query whether any food supplies are available for the immigrants.

As a result, the Regional Chairman once again issued a call for more support from Central Government, particularly since the RDC is yet to receive any word on the status of the establishment of the homestead for the immigrants, which the government had proposed.

According to a financial paper that was tabled in the National Assembly last Thursday, the Ministry of the Presidency has requested an additional $19,219,654 for the Civil Defence Commission, with $4.8 million of that sum earmarked for relief supplies, including food for the more than 2,000 mostly-indigenous Venezuelans who have crossed into the hinterland regions, including Region One.

Meanwhile, touching a bit on the status of the health screening services that had been implemented following the influx of the Venezuelan immigrants, Ashley said that while they have been discontinued, efforts are being made for the provision of other forms of healthcare assistance.

This, he, however, noted, is a work in progress.

The Ministry of the Presidency recently announced that it is making plans for long-term support for Venezuelan migrants, 2,588 of whom have so far been documented in Guyana.

 

 

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