Strategic Response Priorities
Support the Government’s efforts to facilitate registration of Venezuelans through the use of digital systems for biometric registration, documentation and issuance of stay permits in all regions of the country.
Prevent, mitigate and respond to protection risks of refugees and migrants from Venezuela, prioritizing those with specific needs, especially victims of trafficking and survivors of gender-based violence and labor exploitation.
Provide and improve safe and dignified access to essential goods and critical services such as emergency shelter facilities, health care, food assistance, and non-food items.
Provide water and sanitation (WASH) infrastructure and services, coupled with the promotion of good hygiene practices.
Improve access to inclusive quality education services for school-aged Venezuelan children and youth, returning Guyanese and indigenous Warao communities.
Support access to livelihoods through community-based interventions targeting Venezuelans and vulnerable host communities.
Venezuelans continue to seek safety in Guyana as a result of serious threats to their lives, security, freedom and other significant protection risks that they are facing in their country of origin. The situation in Venezuela has also led to thousands of Guyanese who had been living in Venezuela for many years to return to Guyana. It is expected that the outflow of Venezuelans and the return of Guyanese will continue throughout 2020 with the total population in need of protection and assistance in the country reaching over 35,000 people.
The Government of Guyana has maintained a commendable open-door policy to Venezuelans, and, with the support of R4V partners, has recently introduced a digitalized system for biometric registration and documentation of new arrivals. Upon entry into Guyana, Immigration Officers issue a Household Registration Certificate to Venezuelans which includes a provision against forced return and a renewable three-month stay permit.
Common protection concerns faced by Venezuelans in Guyana include risks of gender-based violence (GBV), human trafficking, exploitation and abuse; lack of access to formal employment and livelihood opportunities; language barriers that hinder access to basic services, such as health care and education; and lack of safe and dignified shelter and services in some areas of the country. Indigenous ethnic groups and other minorities are particularly vulnerable, considering that they face specific challenges due to cultural and linguistic barriers.
The growing numbers of refugees and migrants from Venezuela has put pressure on the already limited resources of the country. As part of the response to address the priority needs of both Venezuelans and receiving communities, R4V partners have organized community-based education projects (English as a Second Language) and livelihoods interventions as well as contributed to improving access to water and sanitation. Partners are also developing a joint inter-agency GBV response targeting sex workers and investing more resources towards socio-economic integration opportunities as well as strengthening medical outreach.