Between April to June, Guyana saw a decline in infections and deaths associated with the virus remained steady, and restrictions remained in place. Venezuelan refugees and migrants (R&Ms) have been able to access COVID-19 vaccines through public health systems, and national vaccination campaigns were ongoing with sites set up throughout the country, including drive-through vaccination centers at malls. However, slight delays in vaccine shipments were reported.
Joblessness caused by pandemic measures was heightened, leaving many host community members and R&Ms grappling to access food and pay rent. Amid these hardships, reports of gender-based violence (GBV) incidents, and anxiety and depression among R&M populations and host communities continued to be noted.
Persistent, heavy rainfalls resulted in severe flooding in the Hinterland regions where many refugees and migrants reside (outside Georgetown/Region 4). The CDC declared a level 2 National emergency. The Hinterland communities are generally difficult to access due to limited infrastructure; the flooding amplified an already difficult situation.
Some R4V projects to address Trafficking in Persons and separately, activities related to Integration were completed with one partner wrapping up a three-month cosmetology course related to entrepreneurship with a graduation ceremony in June.
Partners also embarked on the RMRP 2022 Planning process and the Canadian High Commission inked a contribution agreement for a new project aimed at GBV prevention and response with an R4V partner entitled “Increasing protection and awareness for vulnerable Venezuelan women and adolescent girls in Guyana who are survivors or at-risk of gender-based violence (GBV).” World Refugee Day was celebrated on 20 June. To mark the occasion, R4V partners held an experiencial exhibit of the plight of refugees, shared a refugee story book with children, and along with the authorities dedicated a mural to the host community to thank them supporting R&Ms in the country. Pride Month was also held virtually for the second year, supported by both R4V and government organizations.