Assisting Venezuelan migrants is a matter of priority – Guyana to international conference

Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation Minister Hugh Todd has highlighted the coordinated response taken by the Government of Guyana to address the situation of migrants from Venezuela, which he said is being executed through the Multiagency Coordination Committee.
Todd on Friday participated virtually in the international conference in solidarity with Venezuelan refugees and migrants and their host countries and communities – an event held in a hybrid format in Brussels. He indicated that, as a matter of priority, the Government continues to offer registration and regularisation services for socio-economic and cultural integration into the Guyanese society, the provision of healthcare, education for migrant children, referrals to protective and social services, and necessary support for the vulnerable.

Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation, Hugh Todd, virtually attending the conference

He also underscored the commitment of the Government of Guyana to render humanitarian assistance to all migrants from Venezuela.
The Conference was organised by the Government of Canada and the European Union, mainly the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR), the International Organization for Migration (IOM), and the Inter-Agency Coordination Platform for Refugees and Migrants from Venezuela (R4V).
The principal objectives of the conference were to maintain the visibility of the crisis, and to continue to generate resources to support host countries in Latin America and the Caribbean that are undertaking the task of integrating Venezuelan refugees and migrants into their societies.
The conference featured the participation of a broad range of actors, including host governments, international organizations, UN agencies, donors, the Private Sector, and civil society.
One week ago, the Foreign Affairs Ministry convened a meeting of the Multi-Agency Coordinating Committee (MACC) to address the influx of migrants from Venezuela into Guyana. The meeting was chaired by the Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation, and was attended by Committee members from Government agencies and international organisations resident in Guyana.
Discussions centred on initiatives currently underway to ensure the coordinated and appropriate response of the Government of Guyana to the needs of the migrants from Venezuela. With over 20,000 Venezuelan migrants in remote hinterland areas, the UNHCR has been underscoring the need for humanitarian presence and support from the international community to aid with the Government of Guyana’s response to the needs of these communities.
Last year, President Dr Irfaan Ali posited that Government is working to address the situation of migrants in Guyana from a humanitarian perspective, and not refugee camps. Government had signalled its intention to work in collaboration with the International Organization for Migration (IMO) to draft a Migration Policy for those Guyanese who have returned to Guyana from Venezuela. It would entail a holistic plan to deal with those Guyanese returning from Venezuela, and those Venezuelans who have fled their country due to the political and economic crisis. (G12)