• The election campaign for the presidential elections was in full swing during the month of February. The elections are scheduled to take place on 2 March. Operations by partners continued without disruption in the month of February.
• Local authorities informed partners that a significant number of Venezuelans in Region 1 that had reportedly returned to Venezuela in late December, have been unable to return to Guyana due to lack of financial means to pay for passage.
• With the support of a partner, the Government of Guyana has been using a global data system called PRIMES for the biometric registration and documentation of new arrivals from Venezuela in Region 1. Household Registration Certificates were issued by Immigration authorities to Venezuelans upon their entry into Guyana, including a provision against forced return and a renewable threemonth stay permit. In this framework, a partner supported Immigration authorities to conduct biometric registration in the remote southwest area of Region 1 and expanded biometric registration activities from Region 1 to Region 7. A total of 260 Venezuelans, including persons with disabilities, received Household Registration Certificates and stay permits during this activity which included locations such as Puruni and Itabali in Region 7.
During the latter exercise, a partner conducted sensitization sessions on humanitarian interventions with local officials and outreach to Venezuelans.
• During a mission to the southwest area of Region 1, a partner received allegations that several Venezuelan young women and girls are working in mining areas, at heightened risk of gender-based violence and sexual exploitation. A mission to the mining areas was planned to assess the needs and situation of Venezuelans in these areas in March.
• Early childhood development sessions were undertaken with 273 girls and boys (137 from Venezuela and 136 from the host community) from five communities in Region 1.
In addition, 107 Venezuelans benefitted from Child Advocacy Centres (CACs) services. These respond to cases of child sexual abuse by ensuring that children have access to child-safe and child-friendly spaces, by encouraging them to share their stories, and by supporting them to overcome trauma.
• The lack of safe and dignified shelter is also a pressing need among refugees and migrants from Venezuela, particularly in remote areas. Lack of available buildings for shelter and challenges in the use of available land are the main obstacles in providing shelter assistance for those in need. Despite challenges, partners were able to provide emergency shelter to 22 vulnerable Venezuelans.
• A partner conducted a mission to the Mabaruma subdistrict of Region 1 to continue its support for community centers and distribution of items for English as a Second Language classes.
• As part of a pilot livelihoods project, a partner provided 18 Warao men with supplies for fishing activities in order to increase their-self reliance, while another livelihoods project for the production of chinchorros (hammocks) benefited 70 Venezuelan and Guyanese Warao women.
The products that are elaborated using traditional weaving techniques are bought by partners and used as NFI for vulnerable individuals.