The National Multi-Sectoral Coordinating Committee has disclosed that the Immigration Department has recorded an increase of 702 Venezuelan migrants in Guyana, bringing the total number of documented Venezuelan migrants here to 5,123.
At the fortnightly meeting of the Committee, held at the Department of Citizenship yesterday, it was also disclosed that the Barima-Waini (Region One) continues to receive the largest number of migrants. It is for this reason that the International Organisation of Migration (IOM) will be rolling out a pilot sustainable livelihood programme at Yarakita and White Water, Region One. This initiative will benefit both the local residents as well as the migrant population; providing them with tangible and technical agricultural support so that they can become self-sufficient. This project is being funded by the Australian Government.
Currently, the IOM is in discussions with organisations such as the Guyana Livestock Development Authority (GLDA), the National Agricultural Research and Extension Institute (NAREI), the Food and Agricultural Organisation (FAO) and the National Toshaos Council (NTC) to finalise the details pertaining to implementation. The project will subsequently be extended to other communities with a large migrant population.
Meanwhile, with regard to reports of a group of migrants squatting along the foreshore at Non Pariel, East Coast Demerara, the Guyana Police Force has confirmed that 26 persons are indeed residing in makeshift shelters at that location. However, the Civil Defence Commission (CDC) and the IOM are in discussions with the Catholic Church and Guyana Relief Council to find alternative accommodation for those persons.
Additionally, the Ministry of Social Protection is working to ensure that returning Guyanese are registered at the Guyana Elections Commission (GECOM) so that they can be issued national identification cards, which will enable them to benefit from public assistance, once the relevant criteria are met.