Georgetown, Guyana – (May 29, 2019) Minister of Citizenship, Mr. Winston Felix, this morning, said he is considering a proposal of financial support from the Inter- American Development Bank (IDB) to enhance the services available in communities where Venezuelan migrants have settled.
Minister Felix was at the time leading the Multi-Agency Coordinating Committee on Venezuelan migration to Guyana, in a meeting with the IDB, which was held in the boardroom of the Department of Citizenship. He noted that the Government has been trying its utmost to host Venezuelan migrants, which has put some strain on its resources.
“As a nation we have budgeted for our people in the host communities, but now we have to take care of those who come…. What we have decided is that there are some migrants with no fixed place of abode [and] there are those migrants for whom we should find some place safe from push back [opposition from host communities] and so we have found a section of [Barima-Waini], Region One and we are trying to make an assessment of the requirements to house some sections of the Venezuelans there,” Minister Felix said.
IDB Public Management – Sector Specialist, Mr. Jason Wilks said that the IDB is focused on funding migration related investments, which will not only provide direct aid to Venezuelans, but develop host communities. He asserted too that once the community is developed, the quality of life should be better for all inhabitants.
“If we’ve got a Guyanese vulnerable community, with development gaps because the school is not good enough, we can improve that school for the Guyanese … provided that the education policy is in place it will benefit Venezuelan migrants too,” Mr. Wilks said.
Additionally, IDB Migration Specialist, Ms. Alison Elias said the IDB is focusing on access to identification; access to basic services and access to social services and economic opportunities as thematic areas under which countries may qualify for loans and grants. She also noted that the IDB is focused on nine countries that have been receiving a large influx of Venezuelan migrants. Those countries are Ecuador, Peru, Trinidad and Tobago, Chile, Belize, Costa Rica, Panama, Columbia and Guyana.
United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) Resident Representative, Ms. Sylvie Fouet also attended the meeting.