The Civil Defence Commission (CDC) on Wednesday received 200 food hampers and hygiene kits which they have to donate to Venezuelan migrants in Regions One and Seven.
Odetta Giddings, CDC Administrative Manager (ag), said this is the second donation from the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints at a total cost of approximately $2.5M in food items. The church also donated 1500 hygiene kits.
“This is a part of our response effort and this is ongoing. We have continued to support the migrant situation and we have been donating food hampers and hygiene hampers in all of the regions that they have affected,” Giddings told News Room.
The food hampers cater for a family of five and include items such as rice, flour, milk, oil, peas and macaroni.
The Administrative Manager said, “CDC is trying at this point in time to give food at least once a month.”
She said this is to prevent the food items from spoiling.
“We prefer to collect food and we prefer not to collect perishable items.”
The food is taken into the regions by chartered planes and then distributed to the migrants.
Giddings said, “We have to do charters; there is no other way we can get them in, so we usually get assistance from the Guyana Defence Force.”
However even with planes, when they get into the regions, they still have to get a boat to reach some of the communities.
“We have to partner, we can’t do it alone, we have been partnering with the region, we have been partnering with Organisations,” Giddings said.
The migrants are also receiving support from the International Organisation of Migration.
Venezuelan migrants about two years ago began entering Guyana to flee the social and economic crisis in their country.
The Guyana Government said last year that it intends to construct humanitarian centres in the Barima Waini Region and will be seeking international help to respond to the large amounts of Venezuelans who are crossing the border to enter Guyana.
The United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) in February announced it will be working with the Government of Guyana to have strong and capable schools in the bordering regions with Venezuela so that migrant children can have access to a proper education.
“The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints has been serving in Guyana for a long time, we love the people here, we are happy to help the Venezuelans and anyone else who might need our assistance”, humanitarian, Sandra Bohne said.