A multi-stakeholder team was last week deployed to Eteringbang, Region Seven, to assess a number of undocumented Guyanese who are returning from Venezuela.
According to a Department of Public Information (DPI) press release, the assessment was carried out over four days at Eteringbang Landing, Arau and surrounding communities.
The team comprised representatives from the General Register’s Office, Ministry of Social Protection, Civil Defence Commission, Immigration Department, Guyana Police Force and the Guyana Defence Force, the DPI release added.
Acting Civil Defence Commission Director-General, Lieutenant Colonel Kester Craig, in an invited comment said that a report, which indicated there was a number of undocumented migrants in the Enteringbang area, was sent to the National Coordinating Committee.
“That report drove an establishment of a mobile multi-stakeholder team to assess the situation,” the CDC head stated.
He disclosed that the report initially stated there were 95 Guyanese in need of documentation however, there were approximately 340 applications made. Craig explained that the majority of these were late applications. A definite timeline was not given for the completion of the registration process as the information would have to be manually verified.
Lieutenant Colonel Craig disclosed that, “All the information that was collected would be taken back to Georgetown where they will conduct a verification process…review all the records to ensure the information provided by persons are in the system before birth certificates are provided.” He also noted that there will be “incremental updates and provision of documentation as they go along.”
The outreach also served to assess the number of people eligible for benefits such as Old Age Pension with a total of seven persons identified as being eligible.
In addition to the assessment, the Civil Defence Commission distributed a total of 266 sanitary kits to migrants. These items were donated by the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.
The DPI disclosed that over the past few months, the National Multi-stakeholders Committee headed by the Ministry of Citizenship has been working closely with several organisations, both local and international, to monitor the migrant issue.
Guyana has seen an increase in the number of persons crossing the border at Regions One and Seven in their efforts to escape the economic and political crisis in neighbouring Venezuela.