Building synergy between stakeholders necessary to protect migrants – Min Texeira

– says Govt is committed to taking care of those seeking refuge in Guyana

Parliamentary Affairs and Governance Minister Gail Texeira has stressed the need to create and build synergy between different sectors and organisations to continue protecting the rights of migrants and refugees.
Minister Texeira made this remark on Friday during an event hosted by the United Nations Refugee Agency (UNHCR) to commemorate World Refugee Day which was observed on Tuesday last.
The day is observed in honour of those who are forced to flee their origin countries largely due to political unrest, economic instability, or natural disasters.
“What we have to do is to work harder on how we are able to create synergies and collaboration between different sectors and agencies such as the UN and the Government and other funding agencies so that we’re all working in sync, in one aim of being able to protect the rights of migrants coming into our countries and to ensure we’re doing the best that we can,” Texeira said.
She added that the Government is committed to ensuring that all migrants and refugees entering Guyana are taken care of as best as possible given its available resources, clarifying that there is still a responsibility towards Guyanese citizens and other nationalities residing in the country.
“We will continue to work to ensure that people coming in are not exploited, abandoned [or] used by traffickers. That’s the responsibility that we have. And we have the importance of making sure that the children are taken care of, that they’re safe, in school, able to get their vaccinations,” Texeira said.
Reportedly, about 30,000 Venezuelan migrants are currently living in Guyana.
According to a 2022 UNHCR Global Report, the number of forcibly displaced persons rose to 108 million people last year, with most of these individuals being hosted by low- and middle-income countries.
UNHCR Head of National Office in Guyana, Henry Sylvain Yakara stated that this number has increased to 110 million in 2023.
“This figure emphasises the urgency and importance of involving all stakeholders in finding durable solutions for them. It is urgent to enhance the efforts of all actors to create an environment that can guarantee their protection,” Yakara highlighted.
“The concept of inclusion in access to rights and services plays a pivotal role in empowering forcibly displaced people to rebuild their lives and contribute to their host countries.”
He further noted that in Guyana, UNCHR has witnessed remarkable resilience and capacity for inclusion, giving the example of mutual support demonstrated between Venezuelans and Indigenous persons who live within areas like Region One (Barima-Waini). In fact, the Foreign Affairs Ministry and International Cooperation in March 2023, 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 Minister Hugh Todd and was attended by Committee members from Government Agencies and International Organisations resident in Guyana.
Discussions centered on the initiatives currently underway to ensure the coordinated and appropriate response of the Government of Guyana to the needs of the migrants from Venezuela in Guyana.
Meanwhile, during this World Refugee Day commemorative event, there were also a host of cultural performances and poems being read under the day in honour’s theme “Hope Away from Home.” (Pooja Rambarran)