APA calls for more support for Venezuelan migrants

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The Amerindian People’s Association (APA) is calling on the relevant authorities to provide increased humanitarian support to the Warrau Venezuelan migrants who continue to seek betterment in Guyana.

The APA in a statement noted that the migrants should be addressed and recognised as Indigenous Peoples with human rights.

The call follows the recent influx of over 100 migrants who arrived in the Region Two (Pomeroon-Supenaam) community of Kabakaburi earlier this month.

According to the APA, the migrants were “forced” to relocate days after their arrival despite the indigenous community’s willingness to support them, stating that the migrants are in contact with the residents and have been begging to return for a better life.

“The migrants reportedly paddled for eight to 10 days before arriving in Kabakaburi, where it was evident that they lacked food, clothing, and in some cases, medical attention,” the APA said.

Further, “their decision to undertake such a lengthy and dangerous journey speaks to the desperation of people whose lives are severely impacted by the ongoing economic crisis in Venezuela and the COVID-19 pandemic.”

The APA revealed that the migrant camp in Khan Hill, Mabaruma District, Region One where the Warraus settled, has now become overwhelmed, nothing that such conditions increase the risk of disease transmission with the ongoing COVID pandemic.

The Indigenous rights-based organisation called for better coordination for short, medium and long-term support for the migrants.

Additionally, the APA said that when village councils or villages extend their humanitarian arm, the government should support them.

“There are pregnant women, children and the elderly who are all caught in this crisis. As a nation, Guyana must ensure that relevant and effective support is provided to all who are seeking it and to all who are lending support.”

Meanwhile, President Irfaan Ali recently said that Guyana has employed an inter-agency humanitarian response to the migrants. The President said that the country is working with international partners to offer humanitarian aid.

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