Gov’t to acquire private lands for Venezuelan settlement area in Region One

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The Government of Guyana has identified a plot of land, which will be used to establish a settlement area for Venezuelan migrants in Mabaruma, Region One.

The Ministry of the Presidency, in a statement, said the land was identified by the Mayor and Town Council of Mabaruma in collaboration with the Ministry of Citizenship.

Minister of Citizenship, Winston Felix, at the conclusion of the fifth multi-agency coordinating committee meeting on Monday, said the resettlement area, which will allow the Venezuelans to be self-reliant, is privately owned.

Thus, the 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 humanitarian centre.

According to the Ministry of the Presidency, the Minister has also tasked the regional administration to set up a Regional Coordinating Sub-committee, which can take charge of the situation on the ground even as the agencies on the national committee continue to lend the necessary assistance to those in the region.

Additionally, the Ministry of Public Health has established health posts in the affected areas, including Mabaruma and Morawhanna and will, by the end of next week, 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).

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 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],” he said.

Meanwhile, 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.

Currently, the IOM is conducting work in gathering data on the migrants and observed trends through a Displacement Tracking Matrix in Regions One, Two, Four and Sevene 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.

The organisation will also be coordinating a capacity building session in ‘Migrants and Countries in Crisis’ for the members of the National Coordinating Committee as early as possible and capacity building in ‘Camp Coordination’ will be done after the details for the humanitarian centre are finalised.  This training will target individuals who will be responsible for managing the centre.

Additionally, the Immigration Department has been tasked with providing a list of equipment that is needed and can be procured for migrant registration and document issuing, while a Migrant Support Centre will be established in Region One to be housed at the Regional Democratic Council’s office.

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