• By the end of December, Guyana reported 6,332 total cases of COVID-19 recorded, 348 active cases and moved to 164 deaths.
• Emergency measures remained intact; curfews continued from 10:30 p.m. to 04:30 a.m. Large gatherings remained prohibited even as the Christmas shopping season started. Bars stayed closed while restaurants facilitated outdoor dining and takeout services. Hotels and resorts reopened, and airports remained open to International flights. Schools closed-off classes for the Christmas vacation period. Remote Regions 1 and 7 saw an increase in COVID-19 cases. Law enforcement continued to patrol the streets to enforce mask wearing as part of the ongoing operation Covi-curb operation.
• On 5 December the Health Ministry set protocols for the re-opening of the Guyana-Suriname border areas, as law enforcement continued patrolling border areas with limited resources and as challenges continued with irregular crossings.
• COVID-19 restrictions continued to contribute to high unemployment rates amongst host community members as well as refugees and migrants. Many remained in financial difficulties, and the need for shelter, food, NFIs (including hygiene products) remained among the highest needs.
• Although pandemic measures continued to have socio-economic impacts on the host community and refugees and migrants, Guyana’s fast ascension to the rank of petroleum prompted positive outlooks from its government who announced plans to establish a world-class petroleum institute and training centre in Guyana.
• The authorities revealed intentions of providing free university education by the end of 2024. No formal announcement was made regarding potential inclusion of foreign students; this will be explored by R4V partners in future discussions.
• On 11 December, an enabling environment and political stability in the country encouraged the European Union to disburse €19.8 billion (approximately US$92 million) to Guyana, to aid in inclusive and sustainable development as the country moved to create a “beter life for all”.
• In his New Year’s address, President Ali declared that “Never again will anyone suffer the indignity of losing their household appliances by virtue of missing a payment,” creating hope for vulnerable refugees and migrants