UNHCR / GUYANA INDIGENOUS VENEZUELANS

26-Nov-2021 00:05:41
UNHCR expressed concern over the difficult living conditions of indigenous Warao families from Venezuela who are settled in remote locations across Guyana. UNHCR
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STORY: UNHCR / GUYANA INDIGENOUS VENEZUELANS
TRT: 05:38
SOURCE: UNHCR
RESTRICTIONS: PLEASE CREDIT UNHCR ON SCREEN
LANGUAGE: SPANISH / NATS

DATELINE: 20 OCTOBER 2021, ANNABISI - CANAL BANK, GUYANA
SHOTLIST
1. Med shot, boat on water
2. Med shot, UNHCR staff on boat
3. Wide shot, water as boat approaches settlement
4. Various shots, UNHCR staff delivering face masks
5. Wide shot, community members arriving by boat
6. Various shots, settlement built on river
7. Med shot, worker helping community members present vaccination cards
8. Med shot, woman getting COVID-19 vaccine
9. Med shot, aid worker
10. Various shots, UNHCR staff speaking with community members
11. Various shots, community
12. Tracking shot, community member gets home by boat
13. Various shots, community members, including children, putting together a floor puzzle
14. SOUNDBITE (Spanish) Nello, Warao Community Leader:
“We came here in a canoe, rowing for two days and two nights to get here to Kaituma.”
15. Tilt up, children’s faces
16. SOUNDBITE (Spanish) Nello, Warao Community Leader:
“We came in three curiara (elongated dugout canoes). This used to be all bush. We got here first, my father-in-law, my cousins, and my family.”
17. Med shot, Nello, distributing foam tiles
18. SOUNDBITE (Spanish) Nello, Warao Community Leader:
“Then came other families, and others keep coming, from other communities.”
19. Med shot, children sitting down
20. SOUNDBITE (Spanish) Nello, Warao Community Leader:
“We are leaders here. We are two leaders and three helpers. Us leaders, we are here to help all families. When families come, we write down their names, ages, everything so we can help all Warao who come.”
21. Various shots, aerial views of river
STORYLINE
UNHCR today (26 Nov) expressed concern over the difficult living conditions of indigenous Warao families from Venezuela who are settled in remote locations across Guyana.

Guyana is home to an estimated 24,500 refugees and migrants from Venezuela, 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 also found refuge in Anabisi in northern Guyana. More than half of them are children.

SOUNDBITE (Spanish) Nello, Warao Community Leader:
“We came here in a canoe, rowing for two days and two nights to get here to Kaituma.”

SOUNDBITE (Spanish) Nello, Warao Community Leader:
“We came in three curiara (elongated dugout canoes). This used to be all bush. We got here first, my father-in-law, my cousins, and my family.”

SOUNDBITE (Spanish) Nello, Warao Community Leader:
“Then came other families, and others keep coming, from other communities.”

SOUNDBITE (Spanish) Nello, Warao Community Leader:
“We are leaders here. We are two leaders and three helpers. Us leaders, we are here to help all families. When families come, we write down their names, ages, everything so we can help all Warao who come.”

Access to services for these communities is limited and the delivery of aid is impeded by remoteness, lack of transport infrastructure and long distances. Assessments conducted in October and November among Warao refugee and migrant households indicate mounting needs, aggravated by the economic downturn caused by the COVID-19 pandemic.

Most Warao have only one meal a day or less. Lacking formal job opportunities, many of them mention resorting to begging, working odd jobs, often in exchange for food, selling handicrafts or depending on humanitarian assistance.

Most families also do not have access to drinking water, relying instead on rivers for drinking, as well as bathing and defecation.

UNHCR is on the ground, coordinating with the Government and humanitarian partners on how to best support the government-led response.

UNHCR is delivering food hampers, solar lamps, mosquito nets, water purification tablets provided by the Guyanese Civil Defense Commission, and other basic relief items to some 400 indigenous Warao from Venezuela living in northern Guyana, including in the Anabisi community.

Together with partners, since 2019, we have been distributing material assistance, providing shelter and support to access education services to refugees, migrants and members of the host communities in this region and across Guyana to help improve living conditions.

UNHCR also provides counselling, interpretation services and facilitates their access to government services including health programmes and vaccination against COVID-19.

Across the region, UNHCR supports national efforts to provide adequate shelter and access to food, medical and educational services for indigenous populations from Venezuela.

UNHCR also works with the indigenous communities to strengthen their leadership structures, preserve their identity, and protect their traditional knowledge and cultural heritage.

In the framework of the inter-agency response for refugees and migrants from Venezuela, UNHCR works across 17 countries to respond to the plight of five million refugees and migrants from Venezuela hosted in Latin America and the Caribbean, including indigenous communities.

The Refugee and Migrant Response Plan to meet the needs of the Venezuelan refugees and migrants and their host communities in these 17 countries is only 43.6 percent funded to date. The 2022 appeal will be launched on 9 December.
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