Government restores multi-agency coordinating committee to address influx of Venezuelan migrants

The Multi-Agency Coordinating Committee for Addressing the Influx of Venezuelan Migrants into Guyana, co-chaired by the Honourable Hugh Todd, Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation, and the Honourable Gail Teixeira, Minister of Parliamentary Affairs and Governance, met on Saturday, February 20, 2021, to give attention to the migrant situation through a coordinated effort between the Government and international partners.

Representatives from Government Ministries, Agencies, and United Nations agencies lauded the resuscitation of the committee. Together, they examined means of strengthening its capacity through coherent policies to prevent uncoordinated and duplicated activities. Discussions also focused on irregular border crossings and the registration of migrants. Equally important, attendees outlined initiatives and ongoing projects to assist migrants.

Among those attending the meeting were Permanent Secretary, Ambassador Elizabeth Harper; Director of the Bilateral Unit, Ambassador Michael Brotherson; and Director of the Legal Division, Kezia Campbell-Erskine. They were joined by International Organization for Migration (IOM) Regional Coordinator and Chief of Mission Robert Natiello; United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) Senior Liaison Officer Cecilie Saenz Guerrero; United Nations International Children’s Emergency Fund (UNICEF) Representative Nicolas Pron; UNICEF Deputy Representative Irfan Akhtar; United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) Liason Officer Alder Bynoe; Pan American Health Organization (PAHO) Consultant on Disaster Preparedness Tamica Noel, and representatives from the Ministry of Amerindian Affairs, Ministry of Local Government and Regional Development, Ministry of Health, Ministry of Education, Ministry of Human Services and Social Security, Ministry of Housing and Water, the Guyana Police Force, Regional Health Services, the Civil Defence Commission, and the Child Care and Protection Agency.

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