Guyana + 1 more

Guyana: Country Profile (as of June 2022)

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SOCIOECONOMIC ENVIRONMENT

Guyana’s economy grew by an extraordinary 43.5 per cent in 2020, boosted by the introduction of the oil sector, outweighing the negative impacts of the pandemic on the economy.5 The Guyanese economy was expected to grow by nearly 21 per cent in 2021,6 followed by a projected 49 per cent growth rate in 2022.5 Still, livelihood conditions and food security have deteriorated for large segments of the population amid the pandemic. According to a WFP-led survey in 2022 February, 65 per cent of respondents reported disruptions in livelihoods and 56 per cent reduced or lost income. Meanwhile, 36 per cent reported reduced food consumption and nearly all (98 per cent) of respondents observed increased food prices.

KEY ISSUES

SEASONAL FLOODING

Guyana has two distinct rainy seasons each year. The first occurs between May and July, while the second takes place between November and January. In May and June 2021, heavy flooding hit all 10 regions of the country, affecting 150,000 people.8 Total rainfall for May was more than 607mm, the second highest total for that month in the last 30 years.9 On 10 June, the Government declared a disaster, citing regions 2, 5, 6, 7 and 10 among those most affected by flooding.

VENEZUELAN MIGRANTS & REFUGEES

The Venezuelan refugee and migrant population is projected to reach nearly 29,000 in 2022. 11 Most Venezuelans settle in indigenous border regions 1 (Barima-Waini) and 7 (Cuyuni-Mazaruni) as well as peri-urban areas in regions 2 (Pomeroon-Supenaam) and 3 (Essequibo Islands-West Demerara). They face limited access to health care, protection and WASH, and increased risk of exploitation and violence. UNHCR estimates that there are some 2,500 indigenous Warao in Guyana. 12 The Warao are among the most vulnerable Venezuelans in Guyana. Many eat just one meal or less per day, lack adequate shelter and access to safe water.

GEOGRAPHIC DISPARITIES & INDIGENOUS PEOPLES

There is extreme inequality between urban-coastal and rural-interior areas in access to essential services, socioeconomic conditions and food security. In the rural hinterlands (regions 1, 7, 8 and 9), where the majority (80 per cent) of indigenous people live, poverty and extreme poverty affect 74 and 54 per cent of the population, respectively.10 The food and nutrition situation in the hinterland regions is worrisome, with one in four indigenous children suffering from stunting.10 These communities are extremely vulnerable due to their lack of capacity to respond to and recover from emergencies amid the COVID-19 pandemic.

Disclaimer

UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs
To learn more about OCHA's activities, please visit https://www.unocha.org/.