Multi-stakeholder team assessing migrant influx in Region 7

DPI, Guyana, Monday, January 28, 2019

Over the past four days, a multi-stakeholder team was deployed to Eteringbang, Cuyuni Mazaruni, Region Seven to assess a number of undocumented Guyanese returning from Venezuela.

The team comprised of representatives from the General Register’s Office, the Ministry of Social Protection, Civil Defence Commission, Immigration, the Guyana Police Force and the Guyana Defence Force.

Acting Civil Defence Commission Director-General, Lieutenant Colonel Kester Craig in an invited comment said that a report was sent to the National Coordinating Committee which indicated there was a number of undocumented migrants in the Enteringbang area.

“That report drove an establishment of a mobile multi-stakeholder team to assess the situation” the CDC head stated.

The team carried out the assessment at Eteringbang Landing, Arau and its environs.

He disclosed that the report initially stated there were 95 Guyanese in need of documentation however, there were approximately 340 applications made. Craig explained that the majority of these were late applications.

A definite timeline was not given for the completion of the registration process as the information would have to be manually verified.

Lieutenant Colonel Craig explained, “all the information that was collected would be taken back to Georgetown where they will conduct a verification process…review all the records to ensure the information provided by persons are in the system before birth certificates are provided.”

It was however noted that there will be “incremental updates and provision of documentation as they go along.”

The outreach also served to assess the number of people eligible for benefits such as Old Age Pension. A total of seven were identified as being eligible.

In addition to the assessment, the Civil Defence Commission distributed a total of 266 sanitary kits to migrants. The items were donated by the Jesus Christ Church of Latter-Day Saints.

Over the past few months, the National Multi-stakeholders Committee headed by the Ministry of Citizenship has been working closely with several organizations, both local and international, to monitor the migrant issue. Guyana has seen an increased number of people crossing the border at Regions 1 and 7 in an effort to escape the economic and political crisis in neighbouring Venezuela.

Anara Khan.

Images: Tajepaul Bridgemohan.

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