The Canadian High Commission in Guyana and the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) will partner as part of a CAN $ 3 million (G $ 500 million) project to improve the lives of people living in Region One (Barima-Waini). This initiative stemmed from a recent visit to the region by the Canadian High Commissioner to Guyana, Mark Berman, and UNICEF Country Representative Nicolas Pron, who both recognized the need for better support.
A joint press release on Thursday noted that the Berman High Commissioner, Pron of UNICEF, together with their respective teams, held several meetings with Region One authorities on Tuesday March 23, 2021. Aim of the joint mission, in according to the statement, was to gather a better understanding of the living situation of children, women, other residents and migrants in Mabaruma and surrounding communities. Extensive discussions were held with the Regional Chairman of Region One, Brentnol Ashley, and the heads of various agencies in the region, along with the Mayor, Chris Phang, and the Deputy Mayor, Carolyn Robinson, of Mabaruma, and their officials. The Canadian and UNICEF teams also met with the Regional Health Officer, Dr. Steven Cheefoon, and Deputy Chairman of Khan’s Hill Community Development Council (CDC), Sharmaine Smith.
According to the statement, the regional officials shared some of the pressing issues they face in the region, including the influx of Venezuelan migrants, access to the public health system, solid waste disposal, unemployment and agricultural resuscitation.
By setting up the project, funding will be provided to support health, education and other services in the communities of Region One and other regions that demonstrate need.
“We are delighted to partner with UNICEF on this project which will help address some of the issues raised with us during our recent trip, including helping to build community services and facilities , childcare and education, in an effort to reassure those who face more vulnerabilities do not fall further behind in recovering from the pandemic, ”High Commissioner Berman told those gathered for a ceremony simple signing up for the project. In his remarks, UNICEF Representative Pron noted: “This partnership with the Canadian High Commission comes at a critical time as we work together to ensure that no one is left behind as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic. ” He said that since 2018, UNICEF has been supporting grassroots authorities under the emergency response / migrant program, and that there have been positive results. “This project will ensure that the most vulnerable people, including children, have access to key services. Together with the Region One authorities, we are building a better, safer and healthier future for everyone and every child, ”said Pron.
UNICEF’s Guyana and Suriname Country Office and the Canadian High Commission had previously collaborated on the distribution of women-centered family hygiene kits and hygiene promotion activities in the region as part of the response to the COVID-19 pandemic.