United Nations Refugee Agency concerned about indigenous Venezuelans in Guyana |

An increased humanitarian presence and support from the international community is needed, Philippa Candler said on Friday, UNHCRthe representative of the multi-country office in Panama, speaking to journalists in Geneva.

An estimated 24,500 refugees and migrants from Venezuela live in Guyana, including some 2,500 indigenous Warao.

Some have settled in hard-to-reach areas near the Venezuelan border and others in or around the towns of Mabaruma and Port Kaituma.

Since early 2020, some 250 Warao have also found refuge in Anabisi in northern Guyana. More than half of this group are children.

Living conditions

According to the UNHCR, these communities have limited access to services and the delivery of aid is hampered by remoteness, lack of transport infrastructure and distances.

Assessments carried out in October and November show growing needs, compounded by the economic slowdown caused by the COVID-19[feminine pandémie.

La plupart des Warao ne prennent qu’un seul repas par jour ou moins. Sans possibilité d’emploi formel, beaucoup mendient, font des petits boulots, souvent en échange de nourriture, vendent de l’artisanat ou dépendent de l’aide humanitaire.

De plus, la plupart des familles n’ont pas accès à l’eau potable et dépendent plutôt des rivières pour boire, se baigner et déféquer.

La semaine dernière, l’UNHCR a reçu des informations selon lesquelles un enfant warao de la communauté d’Anabisi est décédé et plusieurs autres ont été hospitalisés, apparemment en raison de malnutrition et de maladies liées à de mauvaises conditions d’assainissement. Certains ont été licenciés depuis.

© UNHCR / Diana Diaz

UNHCR staff assess the needs of indigenous Warao families in Venezuela living in informal settlements along the banks of a river in Guyana.


Since 2019, the agency has worked with partners to distribute material assistance, provide shelter and support access to education services to refugees, migrants and members of host communities.

It also provides advice, interpretation services and facilitates their access to government services, including health programs and vaccination against. COVID-19[female[feminine.

UNHCR is currently delivering food baskets, sunlamps, mosquito nets, water purification tablets provided by the Guyana Civil Defense Commission and other essentials to some 400 Warao indigenous people in Venezuela.

The agency works in 17 countries to respond to the plight of five million Venezuelan refugees and migrants hosted in Latin America and the Caribbean.

To date, the Response plan for refugees and migrants to meet the needs of Venezuelan refugees and migrants and their host communities is only 43.6 percent funded.

The call for next year will be launched on December 9.

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